Public library proposition on the ballot

A proposition to make our library a true Public Library will be on the ballot at the May 16, 2023 budget vote!

The once-weekly Open Library has been a benefit to our community, but becoming a Public Library will give all area residents more open hours, more resources, more books, more programming, and more opportunities.

As a true public library, O V patrons will become part of the 4-County Library System (4 C L S). This means our community will be able to borrow nearly a half million books from 45 member libraries in Broome, Chenango, Delaware, and Otsego Counties. We will also have free access to 22,000 movies and 16,000 audiobooks.

4 C L library cardholders also get access to an array of digital materials like 9,000 ebooks, 3,000 audiobooks, and 4,500 magazines through Libby (a digital platform). How about a huge health and wellness database, a language learning program, and financial literacy tools to check the values and ratings of stocks, funds, and financial institutions? All of this would be part of the Otselic Valley Public Library.

There’s still more: Our community can be strengthened by increased availability of meeting and exhibit spaces, study groups, and more community programming. How about trainings (technology and otherwise), workshops, access to historical materials, and reading for pleasure, career development, and life-long learning? Libraries in the 21st century are now “information portals, educational institutions, modern day community centers, and a keystone in our democracy” (Adria Ripka, President, Library Trustees Association’s Board of Directors), and O V can be part of it.

If the Public Library Proposition at the May 16, 2023 budget vote passes, we can use Summer 2023 to officially apply for a charter, accelerate planning, and complete hiring for a September start. With our new Public Library status, we can be open to the public 20-25 hours per week beginning in the fall.

The Public Library Proposition on which school district residents will vote has an $80,000 annual budget. This budget will cover a Public Library Director (10 hours/week), Library Aide (20 hours/week), payroll taxes, books, a 4-County Automation fee, programs, office supplies, and a transfer to reserve. The Sirsi-Dynix set-up fee will be free to O V because an extra license is available.

There will also be an elected Board of Library Trustees that, as required by the New York State Education Department, will serve like a school board but for the public library. Community involvement ensures that our library can grow to serve everyone in our region.

For questions about the Public Library Proposition, feel free to contact Dr. Gonzalez or come to the April 24, 2023 Board of Education meeting (7 pm in the mirrored cafeteria).

We love our library! It’s wonderful to have the resource of a public library in our little town. My daughter and I visit open library nights to access books closer to home and to attend fun activities for adults and students. More important still is the fellowship found in those activities: in a group of knitters at knit night, with fellow bookworms in the book club, and with the librarian and fellow patrons while browsing the shelves. We are grateful that this resource is available in our town, and we appreciate the work that has gone into making it possible. – Kirsten Spear

The library is very spacious and there are many book choices. There are also many activities that others could use on a daily basis. We really enjoy the other things the library has like Legos and robots. – The Fraleys

I come to open library with my kids for story time and crafts, I love to see how excited they are to show off their creations afterwards. They thoroughly enjoy being able to check out a ‘special book’ from open library from time to time separate from library class. – MR

Against a black chalkboard background, a photo of an old book and a spreadsheet outlining a budget

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