Messages from the Board of Trustees
2013 WEST HEMPSTEAD PUBLIC LIBRARY SURVEY
2013 LIBRARY SURVEY RESULTS
The results of our library survey, with over 900 responses, were presented to the general public by our
Library Board President, Kathy Dunne, in two sessions, held in our Community Room, one session at 11 a.m. on July 10 and another at 7 p.m. on July 18.
ANNUAL REPORT TO THE COMMUNITY
From the Board of Trustees,
The Board of Trustees would like to express our gratitude for the support of our residents. The approval of our Library's budget will allow us to continue to serve our patrons and community, providing the resources and services you have come to expect. Longtime Trustee, Ray Duran, has been re-elected to another term.
The results of our recently completed survey, with over 900 responses, will be publicly reviewed during the month of July. Our staff did a stellar job of community outreach and many different constituencies participated. All are welcome to join Library Board President, Kathy Dunne, as we look to find meaningful ways to respond to community concerns. We will hold one session at 11 a.m. on July 10 and another at 7 p.m. on July 18.
2013 WINTER NEWSLETTER - K. Dunne
Dear Patrons and Staff,
This comes with the sincerest hope that all of you have somewhat returned to normalcy in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and the Nor'easter. Our deep-felt thanks go out to our library staff who allowed us to re-open as soon as our power was restored. Many of them were in the midst of their own travails - returning to homes without power. Their efforts were nothing short of herculean. Thanks to the quick thinking of our librarians, we were able to set up much needed charging stations for our patrons, while circulation clerks were checking out materials manually until our technology was up and running.
Curtailing our hours initially was necessary in order to preserve the safety of our staff and patrons, since roads remained dangerous and unsafe to navigate after dark. Your patience and understanding were greatly appreciated.
In the weeks and months to follow, let us not forget neighboring towns that suffered severe losses. We welcome the opportunity to support them and will post information regarding future opportunities for reaching beyond our borders with help and assistance.
Stay well and safe,
President, Library Board of Trustees
2012 SUMMER NEWSLETTER MESSAGE
The Library Board of Trustees wishes to thank the residents of West Hempstead for approving our budget for 2012-2013. Your support inspires us to continue to find ways to balance a full complement of programs and services with our financial obligations to our community.
As with any organization, we need to continue to assess and evaluate what we do and how we do it. In the near future you will be asked to ‘talk’ to us through a series of surveys, to ensure that we remain viable and responsive to your needs. We welcome your participation and feedback and want to remind you that you are always invited to attend a Board meeting, drop us a note or contact the library directly, whenever you have a suggestion or concern.
In your service,
The Library Board of Trustees
2012 SPRING NEWSLETTER MESSAGE
According to the statistics in our annual report to New York State, it became apparent that during difficult
economic times, our patrons have come to rely on our library’s resources more than ever. We currently
have over 11,000 registered borrowers, and in 2011, our library circulated close to 220,000
items. During that same time period, we saw an amazing complement of programs offered to the public.
The West Hempstead Public Library offered over 850 programs for adults, young adults and children,
with more than 16,000 attendees. Those numbers included our Early Literacy programs (from
birth to school entry) that reached over 4,000 children and caregivers, alone. Personally we can’t think
of any better return for our tax dollars than to see people taking advantage of our library collections, as
well as our educational and cultural programs.
With all this in mind, we sat down to look at the newest state mandates and the reality of a tax cap,
while preparing our budget for 2012-2013. In order to maintain our offerings and services, while employing
a qualified and expert staff, we needed to find ways to balance those needs with some new fiscal
realities. Our goal was to not only preserve the programs and services you have come to expect,
but to expand our resources to include the newest technologies and databases available; all this while
remaining fiscally prudent. It is our hope that when the budget is presented to the public this spring,
you will agree that we have found that balance.
As always, we welcome your participation, as we continue to provide our community with this valuable,
The West Hempstead Public Library Board of Trustees
2011 SUMMER NEWSLETTER MESSAGE
The West Hempstead Public Library's Board of Trustees would like to extend a big "thank you" to the
community for approving the library's budget for 2011-2012. We are all very aware of the current
economic climate and truly appreciate your support.
As guardians of the public's monies, we will continue our efforts to keep costs down without hurting the offerings and services of this wonderful
community resource. With employee contract negotiations underway, our aim is to strike a balance
between recognizing the service of our talented librarians and staff, and contending with the new fiscal
As taxpayers, and patrons, you are always invited to share any knowledge or expertise
you may have. Board meetings are open to the community and usually occur the last Monday night
of each month. The dates of our upcoming meetings are listed on the back of each newsletter.
Once again, in appreciation,
Your Board of Trustees
The Library Board has devoted much time to formulating a budget proposal that best serves the needs of the West Hempstead community, while being mindful of the challenging times we all face. For the coming tax year of 2011-2012, the Library Board is proposing a tax levy increase of 1.4%. We estimate that the complete cost of library service will increase $12.00 per family per year. That's only $1.00 per month.
The proposed budget reflects several costs over which the Board has no control, including significant increases in the New York State Retirement System contributions and mandated benefits, as well as the newly-imposed Nassau County sewer usage fee. To counterbalance these anticipated expenses, we have trimmed the budget in other areas and have held the line in personnel spending. Library services to the public were carefully evaluated to enable us to continue to provide the high level of innovative and traditional services we have always delivered at the lowest possible cost to the taxpayer. We reduced the amount to be spent on reference books which are increasingly available online. We will continue to offer the museum pass program to our residents to allow them to visit, free of charge, such world class institutions as the American Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Modern Art.
Our extensive collection of books, newspapers, magazines, CDs, DVDs, audiobooks and electronic resources, as well as a wide variety of concerts, lectures, movies, dance classes, yoga and exercise programs are also available to all West Hempstead residents. We offer free tax assistance for seniors and one-on-one online homework help for students, from elementary school to adult learners.
All of these resources, together with educational and enriching workshops, have made the West Hempstead Public Library the cultural center of our community.
The Library provides materials and services that benefit everyone regardless of age. We encourage you to come in and experience the rich variety of all that we have to offer.
Spring 2011- Collection Agency will Enforce Current Policies
Patrons with Overdue Items or Fines
West Hempstead Public Library has contracted with the collection agency Unique National Collections to help recover unreturned library items and unpaid fines from seriously delinquent patrons.
Patrons who owe $25.00 or more due to overdue items and unpaid fines will be reported to this collections agency when their bill reaches the $25.00 threshold. Bills are generated once items are 35 days overdue. Patrons will be automatically reported to UNC if they owe more than $25.00 when the replacement bill is generated. (Please note: patrons receive a first alert from WHPL (a non-bill) about two weeks after items are due.)
When a patron is reported to UNC, a $10.00 service charge is assessed in addition to the bill amount. UNC will contact these delinquent patrons several times by mail and phone over three months to alert and encourage them to pay what is owed.
Patrons should make returns and/or payments at the WHPL circulation desk. Be sure to bring your notification letter from UNC (with your UNC account number) to expedite this process.
After 120 days, patrons who ignore these alerts and do not make restitution of monies owed will be reported to all three credit agencies. Such defaults may remain in a person's credit history for up to seven years.
TOUGH DECISIONS FOR TOUGH TIMES:
An OPEN LETTER from your Library Board of Trustees
In this day and age of appropriate transparency, the Board of Trustees would like to keep you informed as regards this year’s budget proposals. Being residents of West Hempstead ourselves, we recognize the need for fiscal prudence, while maintaining the level of services and programs that our patrons have come to rely on.
As you may already be aware due to extensive media coverage, this year has seen some of the most drastic changes regarding State funding and mandates. New York State’s new requirements have doubled retirement costs in just two short years. We have two new taxes to factor in, the MTA tax and the Sewer tax. We have lost thousands of dollars in state aid and are being asked to increase our member contributions to the also-hurting Nassau Library System. As we all know, costs for many day to day expenses have also increased. The fact that we have just come through one of the hottest summers and coldest winters on record contributed to increases in our operating costs as well.
The good news is that we have seen tremendous increases in the usage of our public library by our patrons. On average, we serve about 1,000 patrons a day. In light of such fiscal set-backs, we have not reduced our operating hours and actually offer more extensive databases, services and programs. We recognize that our patrons need our services through the most difficult economic times. Therefore, as a Board, we have agreed that we will remain committed to maintaining the offerings of this important community resource.
Along those lines, we would like to invite the community to become a part of the discussion as we move forward. Since last year’s budget vote failed, this year's budget will require very careful analysis and planning. We anticipate the need for responsible increases in order to preserve the integrity of our programs and services. We welcome your input and participation in this process and urge you to attend our open budget hearing on March 28 at 8 p.m. in the Children's Program Room. Let's do this together.
The Library Board of Trustees