Our original program had to cancel due to illness, so your Louisburg Library ladies stepped in to talk about the April 7th election. We will hear from Sara Caylor about the Girl Scouts on March 25th.
Our plan was to see you on March 25th to discuss the April 7th election, so our financial advisor Dave Arteberry, our architect consultant David Dunfield and our board president Raymond McLanahan were unable to attend.
Elizabeth Ellis and Kiersten Allen presented facts and answered questions. Here’s a little history: In 2008 the proposed $6.9M bond issue for a 27K square foot facility failed by 158 votes. The primary concerns were the economy and the size and scope of the design. The board of trustees and personnel heard those concerns and downsized the project. Six years later the library is proposing a $4.25M bond issue for an 18,500 square foot facility and it will be on the ballot on April 7th.
Instead of a design focused proposal, this bond issue is need based. The current facility is 6,700 square feet, serving 9,000 patrons with more than 45,000 items in its collection and a 15-person staff. The new facility will provide room for critical items:
  • A secure youth area
  • Designated teen space
  • Private study rooms
  • Gathering space
  • Expanded technology
  • A community room with a separate entrance for after-hours use
Several questions were raised:
  • What is the library’s current debt? There is none. The original building was purchased after a bond issue election in 1988 and the bond has been paid. The land on Harvest Drive was purchased in 1999 with Capital Improvement Funds. The renovation in 2003 was also paid in full with Capital Improvement Funds.
  • What will be the mill difference? The current mill levy is 5.506. The mill levy for the bond issue is estimated at 2.584, to be paid over 20 years.
  • How much will the operating budget increase since the facility will be significantly larger? Operating costs should be comparable. We will design a single-floor structure and will not require the staff needed for a multi-level facility. The new building will be significantly larger and significantly more efficient, so the utilities are not expected to increase dramatically. The furnishings and opening day collection will be part of the capital costs.  
  • Who is paying for it? Taxpayers within the library district. We were the first district library in Kansas in 1967 and as such the library board of trustees has its own taxing authority. Our boundaries are nearly identical to the USD 416 boundaries. Therefore, we have a patron base of 9K people.
Parting thoughts:
Libraries are the great equalizer. A person’s financial, educational and socio-economic background are irrelevant when he walks through our doors. We offer services from the cradle to the grave. Kiddos need to be ready to read before they start kindergarten, and our Baby Time and Story Time programs help stimulate those skills, along with Brain Bags and picture books. We help supplement the school library resources from AR to AP titles that students require and we keep them reading in the summers when they risk backpedaling their nine-month progress in the classroom. Not everyone is a life-long learner, yet everyone can find something they need in a library from high-speed internet connections and large print titles to learning new skills in a class and borrowing medical equipment after an injury.
Key dates to remember:
  • Tuesday, March 17th is the last day to REGISTER TO VOTE
  • Wednesday, April 1st is the last day to APPLY FOR AN ABSENTEE BALLOT
  • EARLY VOTING starts on March 18th at the County Clerk's office in Paola. They are open from 7:30am - 4pm on week days
  • Early voting ends on April 6 at noon
The library website has additional information at www.louisburglibrary.org