Library representatives say the Boone Area Library needs more community support if it is to remain open through Dec. 31 and for years to come.The library's treasurer, appointed in January and who asked that her name not be used, said the Borough of Birdsboro and Amity and Union townships need to pledge more money now in order for Berks County officials to release the library's fourth quarter check of $21,000. She said the library needs $12,000 revenue a month - or $36,000 per quarter.
The library receives a quarterly check from the county for $21,000, approximately $53,983 from the state each year, and $3,453 from Union Township.
The Borough of Birdsboro has increased their contribution from $6,000 to $8,500, and Amity now gives $10,000, up from their previous $8,700 contribution. The library's Annual Giving Campaign typically yields $14,000.
A combined nine-dollar increase from the local municipalities of Amity, Birdsboro, and Union would put the Boone Area Library at the same revenue level provided by Exeter Township to the Exeter Library. Increased local contributions would also increase the percentage of state financial aid.
Library board and staff members are producing a Microsoft PowerPoint financial presentation that will be ready in August and which will hopefully garner additional local financial support.
"The presentation will address the impact the library makes in the community and how local businesses and the three municipalities can be a part of this vital resource and see it grow and become more effective," said Board President Wanda J. Druzba. "The library serves the same areas as the Daniel Boone School District and we want contributions for the library to be from all three municipalities, not just Birdsboro. The library is an asset for everyone and people can have a part in their community."
An individual, family, or business that contributes $500 or more will have the honor of their name painted on the wall of the community room.
The library is also offering naming rights to its other rooms for a sizable financial contribution.
Two fundraisers are planned but no dates have been established.
Druzba said one fundraiser is a meat bingo and the other is an "awesome" rock and blue concert to be held in September at the High School auditorium.
"The school has given us use of the auditorium and pledged support any way they can," said Druzba. "We have a growing young Friends of the Library group and they will help to spread the word during the school's morning announcements."
The treasurer said the recent $25,000 Harm's Benefit check from the Borough of Birdsboro paid off the library's credit card debt of $11,800 and will pay the monthly mortgage amount of $1,400 for the rest of 2008.
Although the mortgage can be paid, there isn't enough money to pay the insurance, the utility bills, and meet the monthly $8,000 payroll.
"It's great that we have the money for the mortgage, but we also need a guarantee from the municipalities before the county will issue the fourth quarter check," the treasurer said.
The treasurer said the $25,000 Harm's Benefit check wasn't enough to issue that check.
"We have only six paid employees," said the treasurer. "Their salaries are the lowest of all the county's libraries. We need a guarantee from the municipalities or state legislators - we need them to say we're going to give more."
Druzba and the treasurer asked the Union Township Board of Supervisors on July 21 to increase the township's per capita tax from one dollar to two or three dollars.
"We thought $3,000 to $6,000 was sufficient for a number of years," said Union Township Chairman Donald E. Basile. "How do you bridge that gap? You have a structural deficit of $70,000."
"I was going to suggest doubling the amount because of our $64,000 surplus, but you are in dire trouble, and everyone needs to decide if the Boone Area Library is worth saving and funding," said Basile. "Townships need to decide if worthwhile to fund -and they need to know the library's expenses and situation. I was prepared tonight to increase our contribution to $2, but you need a lot more than that."
"Amity and Union don't have enough money to go around," said Union Township Supervisor John Salaneck III. "If we helped you out with an increase, it wouldn't be enough. I've been fighting about raising taxes. It's my opinion, but when you don't have enough to go around, you don't give more away."
Board of Supervisors Chairman Richard L. Gokey told library board secretary Donna Reider on July 16 that he would recommend increasing the township's per capita tax from $1.25 to two dollars in 2009 for an annual contribution of $20,000.