Also during its meeting Tuesday, the Forsyth County Public Library Board:
• Approved the purchase of an automated materials handling system for the Sharon Forks library branch. The funds will come from impact fees, which are charged to developers.
The materials sorter will be installed at the south Forsyth branch after one is put in place at Post Road branch, which is expected to open in June.
• Authorized a $30,000 transfer from fund balance to the materials budget to buy electronic books on genealogy, health and business.
• Received an update that the speaker for this year’s Forsyth Reads Together event Sept. 17 has been selected. The author’s name can’t be revealed yet, but the nonfiction writer is a Pulitzer Prize winner.
Heard about a library advertising and fundraiser program in which people can buy FCPL car magnets for a suggested donation of $3 at any branch.
• Discussed plans to expand a county history art display at the future Post Road branch to existing libraries. Each branch would include art depicting Forsyth at different points in time.
Note: All votes were 5-0 unless otherwise noted.
The Forsyth County Public Library expects its total budget to increase 9 percent for the fiscal year beginning July 1 as it opens a fourth branch.
In a 5-0 vote Tuesday, the board approved a nearly $5.5 million budget that runs consecutive with the state’s fiscal year.
The library receives funding from both the state and county, which operate on fiscal and calendar years respectively.
State funding will increase less than a percent, from about $365,000 to $368,000, while county funding is expected to rise 9.5 percent, from about $4.2 million to about $4.6 million, according to figures presented by Anna Lyle, assistant director for support services.
“That’s pretty much entirely due to Post Road [branch opening] and these communications issues we talked about,” Lyle said.
The local branches will add bandwidth improvements that will be reimbursed by the Georgia Public Library System.
Funding from the county won’t be approved officially until October, but the library is already receiving support to open the fourth branch in the second half of this year.
The branch at Post and Kelly Mill roads will have some new staff members, primarily without benefits, and shift some personnel from existing libraries to minimize the budget increase.
The board also plans to request an extra $67,300 from the county to restore the service hours to 8:30 p.m. one weekday night at all four branches, Lyle said.
Hours were cut in 2010 to meet the drop in the county’s budget while opening Hampton Park library.
Board chairwoman Mary Helen McGruder said the return to longer hours one night a week seems “timely.”
“If the money’s not there,” she said, “then we will have tried.”