Support the Crozet Library budget request

Your help is needed to support the Crozet Library funding increase requested as part of the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library's annual budget request to Albemarle County.  The Albemarle County Executive's proposed budget for FY2015, released recently, includes increased funding for the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library. Those increases cover:
  1. Mandates required by the County's requested changes to the revised regional agreement,
  2. Additional costs due to the development of the new Northside Library,
  3. Salary increases to bring JMRL staff pay closer to comparable County positions, part of a multi-year effort, based upon the County's recommendation of a professional salary comparison.

The budget presentation cover (screenshot below) features our beautiful library and the community-volunteer-staffed Book Brigade.

What the proposed budget does not include:  the $34,000 in funds needed to increase the hours the Crozet Library is open.

The County built it; we furnished it; and the community is using the library in unanticipated numbers. Wendy Saz, the Crozet Library branch manager recently said: "This is a very efficient building and staff, with materials moved quickly and effectively. Even with a high rate of efficiency, it has become more and more difficult to keep up with the sheer volume of ‘business’ we’re experiencing. Our statistics say it all."

  • Circulation has been up each month since the new Library opened in September 2013 as compared to the same month in 2012 from 73% to 87%, with each month’s percentage increase greater than the previous months.
  • Patron visits have been up as much as 174% (and never lower than 85% increase) each month as compared to the same month in 2012.
  • Crozet Library is now the number one library in the J-MRL system for number of self-checkouts per month.
  • 1,255 new library cards have been issued at Crozet Library between September and January 30, 2014!

We are grateful for the support of the County and we know they have heard often from this community about the need for increased hours. We hope that hearing from the community now will help the Supervisors realize they could make a large number of Western Albemarle citizens happy with a relatively small amount of money.

If you care about increasing the hours the library is open, now would be the time to contact the Board of Supervisors with your concerns. Here's how:

1.  Attend this Wednesday’s (April 2) Board of Supervisor’s meeting at 9AM and speak for three minutes at their matters not on the agenda.  This portion usually happens before 10AM.  Tell your story about why having the library open additional hours is important to you.   Thank them for their support and ask them to add back the $34,000 needed to fund Crozet Library’s additional hours.

2.  Write the Supervisors via, or write each supervisor, individually via:
Jane Dittmar
Diantha McKeel
Liz Palmer
Brad Sheffield
Ann Mallek
Ken Boyd

3.  Call the Supervisors. Contact information for each:

They will be working through the budget over the next few weeks. Hearing from a number of people in the community could help them make this decision.  If you’d like talking points, statistics about the overwhelming use the library is getting, or encouragement, please let us know.  

Jane Kulow, Bill Schrader, and I are glad to help.  We’ve all spoken to the Board in the last several weeks about this matter and now they need to hear this message from you.

Thank you for your consideration,

  Tim Tolson
  on behalf of the Build Crozet Library fundraising committee

Cover page of Albemarle County's FY2015 Budget