San Bruno tries to fund story timeBy Staff
Covering the $22,000 needed to keep San Bruno libraries open on Fridays and community activities going could come in a variety of forms - including further cuts to hours.
Earlier this month, the San Bruno City Council approved a $30.3 million budget for the recently-started fiscal year. Among the $1.85 million in reductions was $70,000 in library services. The council requested staff come up with a plan to cut $48,000 instead, saving $22,000 for library services. Such a move would keep the library open for limited hours on Fridays while maintaining access to story time and the summer reading program. Tonight, the council will hear a variety of options to fund the savings.
A few options will be discussed.
First is the recommended option from staff which would tap into money from the State Library Fund. San Bruno receives about $60,000 yearly from the state program, money which is supposed to be used as seed money for capital projects. In recent years, the city has transferred money from the account into the general fund to help the imbalance. Transferring an additional $22,000 would mean a $550,000 ending balance this year, City Manager Connie Jackson wrote in a staff report.
Other options include using gas tax funds to cover the City/County Association of Governments assessment, freeing up general fund money for the library costs; allocating new revenue from yet-to-be-set-up communication tower rental agreements; or reconfiguring the library hours to be further reduced while maintaining a short opening Fridays.
San Bruno's library is currently open four hours on Friday, but would not be open on Fridays should the entire $70,000 in cuts go into effect, said Library Director Randy Schwartz. Community programs like an adult book club, summer reading program and story time would also be cut.
If $48,000 in cuts were made, on the other hand, Friday hours would be maintained and little kids in pajamas can come to story times. Currently, San Bruno offers story times in English and Spanish, and also offers a pajama story time, said Schwartz.
Regardless of the proposal approved, the library will be open two less hours daily Monday through Thursday, changing the hours to 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Under the last funding proposal, the hours could be changed from noon to 8 p.m. daily and the library would be kept open 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays. However, Jackson wrote about concerns that the part-time hours may not be flexible enough to be covered.
Copyright ©2010 San Mateo Daily Journal. Published 07/27/2010.