Why is our library "SPECIAL"?
By 1989 our library services, hours, staffing and programming had been suffering from uncertain funding for years. That year our community voted to create our Special Library District and the first operating budget. Today our library is top rated in the Mid-Hudson Library system. Woodstock is "Special" but not unique, it's one of 19 Special District Libraries in the Mid-Hudson Library System.
What is a Special District Library?
A Special District Library is defined by increasing transparency of a public library through community control of the election of trustees and a public vote on the library’s tax levy. This form of direct to public conversation enables the library to meet or exceed the minimum standards and to carry out its long-range plan of service. It is the #1 recommendation in the Regents Advisory Council’s Vision 2020 Plan as a strategic direction for New York’s public libraries.
Municipal. Special District. Whats the difference?
The way our municipality recently accepted responsibility for the community cemetery is awesome. But a municipal library deals with more then just cutting the grass. Libraries are active community centers that have grown from staid shelves of books to hubs of intellect, arts programming, technology and connection for the public. Municipal Libraries need to compete for funds on a town's budget with things like "Surprise!!! You now own a cemetery!". When departments on a town budget compete for funds often there are budget cuts which will affect services, programming, staff and hours.
I’m really concerned about my taxes. $5.8 million seems like a lot.
Yes. Five million dollars IS a lot of money. So is 3.2 million (the amount the opposition is promising ).
A few things to consider. Neither of the amounts above are “actual numbers”, they are estimated “discussion numbers”. Numerous professionals have told the Library Board that any rehabilitation is very hard to put an actual number to until the walls of the library are open. Many believe the rehabilitation number will rise dramatically as rehab projects are likely to do. One of the rehab scenarios that 16% of survey respondents chose has an estimated price tag of $5.75 million.
The final bond ask to the community is undefined. NO ONE knows what the amount will be. ONLY that the library is committed to a capital fundraising campaign that will drastically reduce any money spent on any facility update solution. The bond will be a fraction of any number you hear being talked about. AND the taxpayer gets to vote on it.
Is our library historic?
Only 1.5 walls holding 250 sq ft of the current facilities are considered historic. This portion of the library will be preserved in any facilities update plan. The rest of the building is just patched on additions from several different generations each with it's own unique "older building" issues.
But I love that building!!!!!
WE. HEAR. YOU. Do you know how many memories and good times we have each had in this building? We are part of the Woodstock library community just like you! It is heartbreaking but the building has major issues that can not all be answered by renovation. Many parts of this building are weak but your community library is strong. You deserve facilities that match the outstanding services and programming provided.
What has the library done for me lately?
In 2017 4,646 registered residents of Woodstock were borrowers at our library with 118,950 visits! 3358 Adults attended 377 free programs and 4305 children attended 103. Woodstock Library's usage per capita is nearly three times higher compared to every other similar sized community in the Mid-Hudson Library System. We have the third largest collection in the system. 80% of last year's programming was not paid for with tax-payer money but with money your Friends fundraised for on their own spare time.
Who runs our library anyway?
The library is overseen by your library director, Jessica Kerr. She has a Masters Degree in Library Science. She is aided daily by a staff of eight librarians, clerks and pages. The Board of Trustees has eleven elected seats who work with Jessica to incorporate public feedback and library needs into an ongoing plan of service and annual library budget. The Friends of The Woodstock Library is a supporting membership organization with an 8 member elected board. The Friends fundraise, support and advocate on behalf of the library but do not have a direct say in library decisions.
I STILL WANT THAT BUILDING! I'm VOTING YES!
The referendum ONLY DISSOLVES AND TERMINATES your library. No more direct say on your tax levy. No more say on the governance. The referendum is NOT a vote to keep a building. It is NOT a new library plan. It is 100% a vote that dissolves and terminates the library we all love. A library is more then a building that houses books and data.........