North Adams Library Has Funding Concerns
iBerkshires.com reports that the library trustees will invite the mayor to a future meeting to discuss the fragile state of the library's budget that if not increased in coming years, will lead to decertification.
Library Director Mindy Hackner told the trustees Wednesday that she recently attended budget meetings with Mayor Thomas Bernard and is still receiving push back from the city in meeting Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners funding standards.
State-certified libraries not only receive state aid but access to services such as the C/W MARS interlibrary loan. Without certification, the North Adams Public Library would stand alone.
Libraries can apply for waivers if they can prove that their budget has not been cut disproportionally. Hackner said the city has been successful in receiving these waivers over the years.
But this is about to come to an end and new regulations give libraries five years to hit the funding levels. North Adams has four more years.
The Adams Free Library is in the same position.
If decertified, the library will stay decertified for three years but its funding level goal would be reset.
Hackner said these rules were implemented in the 1980s and the baselines are outdated.
The trustees agreed that they would invite Bernard to their April meeting
Hackner, who plans to retire this year, said she is worried about an incoming librarian having to deal with the funding issues she has dealt with over the years.