Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Board seeks to boost book budget

The Fauquier County Public Library board of trustees voted unanimously at its November meeting to increase the daily fine for overdue materials to 15 cents per day, effective January 1, 2010. This marks the first change in the library’s charge for overdue books since 1989.

The board took the action to partially offset the $93,000 drop in fiscal year 2010 funding for purchasing new books and other materials. Fines collected will be directly applied to the materials budget.
Raising revenue from fines is just one way the board hopes to boost the materials budget. The library board is also soliciting donations for periodicals and other items and continuing the course set in 2009 for seeking partnerships with businesses and community organizations.

In 2009 the Warrenton Rotary Club agreed to contribute $2,500 to support a world geography book series for children and other library programs. In August, Borders Books in Warrenton made the library one of the recipients of its monthly book drive. More than 500 books on the library’s “to buy” list were bought by Borders customers to be donated to the library.

Individuals can help support the library too. Monetary gifts, bequests, and memorial or honorary contributions are always welcome, and now there are other ways to donate. Once easy way to do so is through the library’s Amazon Wish List.

Another way to fund the book budget — and it costs you nothing — is to start your Amazon.com shopping by going this site. Amazon will donate a percentage of your purchases to the library and they won’t charge you any more for ordering via the Wowbrary link. This is a great and simple way to support the library, and you can do this year-round. Call (540) 349-1928 or e-mail if you have questions about donations.

Libraries across the nation began reporting increased usage as the economy worsened, and Fauquier County Public Library is seeing this trend too.

During the first half of 2009, circulation of materials increased by 17 percent, visits to the library increased by 16 percent and program attendance grew by 8 percent. Participation in the 2009 summer reading programs topped any previous year and more than 74,000 Internet sessions were logged onto Fauquier libraries’ public access computers as patrons did research, conducted job searches, and filled out online employment applications.

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