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Bloomfield Public Library Vote Frequently Asked Questions 2018

What is the library asking the community to decide in the 2018 vote?

The library Board of Trustees is asking the residents of the Bloomfield Central School District to consider recreating the library to simplify the way the library is governed and funded making it more equitable across the entire school district.

How is the library governed?

The Board of Trustees makes the decisions for the library. They decide on the hours of operation, how the library spends the tax money that it receives, and other governing activities. Currently, the trustees are appointed by the East Bloomfield Town Board and must reside in East Bloomfield. If the vote passes, trustees will be publicly elected, and anyone ages 18+ in the school district could run for a seat on the Bloomfield Public Library Board.

How is the library funded?

Currently, the library’s budget is primarily made up of taxes residents pay to the Town of East Bloomfield. Other sources include the Town of West Bloomfield, the Village of Bloomfield, and the Bloomfield Central School District. The Library receives small amounts of income from New York State, the Friends of the Bloomfield Public Library, library fines, and donations. If the vote passes, the library’s budget will come from one primary source, a tax paid by residents of the Bloomfield School District. This would correct the problem of people paying multiple times for the library. The library would also continue to receive a small amount of income from New York State, the Friends of the Bloomfield Public Library, library fines, and donations.

What will it cost Bloomfield School District residents if the vote passes?

If the vote passes, Bloomfield Central School District residents will pay $.39 per $1,000 of assessed property value. This means, if your house is assessed at $150,000, you will pay $58.50 a year to fund the library.

Why now?

The Library is facing rising costs due to increases in the minimum wage and other business expenses (materials costs, building maintenance costs, etc.) and the Towns of East Bloomfield and West Bloomfield are limited in what they can allocate to the library due to the tax cap.

How will this affect my school taxes?

This vote deals with the library tax that appears on the school tax bill. This vote does not impact school taxes. The school tax funds the school district, the library tax funds the library. They appear on the same bill and are paid at the same time, but the school district and the library are two separate entities. If the vote passes, the school will not control, own, or fund the library. The library will continue to be in the same building and will operate in the same way it always has. We will continue to be part of the OWWL system and we will continue to offer the same services you are used to.

Who uses the library?

Over 2,150 registered borrows in the Bloomfield Central School District. How will this vote impact other libraries in the area? The proposition being voted on will only impact the Bloomfield Public Library and the tax money collected will support only the Bloomfield Public Library. Neighboring libraries like Wood Library in Canandaigua, Victor Farmington Library, Geneva Public Library, Red Jacket Public Library, and Naples Public Library all use similar funding models that follow school district lines.

Will additional library tax requests be made in the future?

If the proposition passes, voters in the school district will have to vote in favor of any future change to the library’s budget. It is likely that budget increases will be requested in the future to accommodate wage increases and other costs as they continue to rise.

What will happen if the vote is not passed?

If the proposition is not approved, the library will continue to seek allocations from the Towns of East Bloomfield and West Bloomfield, and the Village of Bloomfield. When these allocations fail to cover operating expenses, the Board of Trustees of the Bloomfield Public Library will need to make difficult decisions about services, materials, and programs such as:

  • Cutting hours of operation
  • Decreasing the purchasing of materials, resulting in fewer new books, DVDs, computers, etc.
  • Reducing programming for children, teens, and adults

What changes will be made if the vote is passed?

If the proposition is approved, benefits to the community include:

  • Ensuring that the library remains available at the most convenient times.
  • Providing the most up to date technology for patron use.
  • Allowing the board of trustees to approve building maintenance and improvement for safety, accessibility, and efficiencies.
  • Providing resources for new programming for patrons of all ages.
  • Allowing any school district resident aged 18+ the right to run for the position of library trustee.
  • A guaranteed minimum library budget of $165,000 to make sure the library remains open and serves the community until another budget is approved by the voters.

With the prevalence of the Internet and eBooks, isn’t the library being used less?

Families continue to come to the library to introduce their children to books and participate in storytimes, classes, and events. Older children and adults use the library for studying, borrowing books, attending social events like book clubs and other educational activities. Computer and WiFi use has increased as some community residents depend on the library for reliable internet access. Community organizations use the space for meetings and events. Finally, Bloomfield residents borrowed close to 4,500 digital titles annually through our OverDrive collection which is funded in part by the library’s budget. While checking out books will always be a core service of the library, we have grown in our relationship with the community. Providing education, equity of access, and comfortable space is what we bring to the community.

How was the initial budget of $165,000 set?

The Board of Trustees sets the budget for the library. They reviewed prior years actual revenues and expenditures as well as future projections for revenue and expenses to determine the amount for the initial budget. In 2017 the library received $144,725 in real property taxes. In 2018 the library received $154,725 in real property taxes. This vote requests $165,000 in real property taxes for 2019. If the vote passes, going forward the library budget will be subject to the 2% tax cap and as stated previously and the school district voters will have to vote on any changes to this amount.

Who is eligible to vote?

An eligible voter is a person who is a citizen of the United States, at least 18 years of age, a resident of the school district at least 30 days prior to the vote, and who is not otherwise prohibited from voting.