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Library board pleased with outlook
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Forsyth County News
Other action

Also Monday, the Forsyth County Public Library board:

• Approved a “Buy Your Own” button for the online library catalog, which will allow users to purchase books from a Web vendor. The library will receive about 1 or 2 percent of the transactions, director Jon McDaniel said, though the board’s aim is convenience.

• Agreed to write off about $25,000 in uncollectible patron debt from 2006 from lost materials, overdue fines and collection agency fees.

• Reviewed the Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings, in which the local library system was rated second best in Georgia.

— Alyssa LaRenzie
Jon McDaniel is optimistic for the future.

“It looks like the economy is turning the corner,” said McDaniel, the director of the the Forsyth County Public Library. “The question is how quick.”

Despite reductions in employer payments for health benefits, he said funding from the fiscal year 2011 state budget will remain about the same for the library system.

McDaniel and the local library board reviewed the system’s finances on Monday night.

“We received some relief from state health,” said Anna Lyle, assistant director for support services. “They haven’t been doing that for quite some time. I think those days are over.”

The library system receives funding from both the state, whose budget year begins July 1, and the county, which operates on the calendar year.

The county recently added $124,080 to the library’s preliminary 2011 budget to maintain its third branch, Hampton Park, which opened in March.

McDaniel said the county has also agreed to lower the library’s contribution to internal service charges, which cover a variety of operating costs.

“It’s nice that the county’s supporting the library in this tough time,” board member Kristin Morrissey said, “and that they see the value there.”

Library officials are scheduled to meet with the county finance committee today to review budget requests for 2011.

“Our plan is just to say thank you,” McDaniel said.

The economic storm hasn’t cleared, though, which led the library board to enact some cost-saving measures Monday.

Based on state funding, the board voted 5-0 to institute two unpaid holidays, July Fourth and Labor Day.

It will await the county’s budget before determining whether more unpaid holidays may be necessary.

“We are at this point taking it a few months at a time,” Lyle said.