Nevada County library panel says no outsourcing; prefers bailout
January 14, 2010
GRASS VALLEY, Calif. andamp;#8212; One of three committees working on ways to save Nevada County’s financially-strapped libraries will recommend the county bail itself out and not rely on an outside firm.The library systems Citizens Oversight Committee voted unanimously Wednesday to recommend a plan from the Truckee Friends of the Library that keeps all the libraries open.The plan also cuts one librarian, scales back hours for others, keeps the Literacy Program going and foresees a $250,000 deficit at the end of the fiscal year in June.County Chief Executive Officer Rick Haffey recommended looking at a private firm to outsource library services last October when it became clear the system was in trouble.Haffey projected the system would be $400,000 in the red by this coming June and a $2 million deficit by 2013 unless service delivery was changed or sales tax revenues rebounded.Committee members also rejected a proposal from private firm Library Systems andamp; Services, saying it did not have enough details about how services would be kept as close to whole as possible.andamp;#8220;I have a huge concern when dealing with a contractor,andamp;#8221; said panel member Ruth Hall, who is also a member of the Truckee Friends. andamp;#8220;It’s a huge risk and they made generalized statements without specifics.andamp;#8221;Committee members noted the Board of Supervisors mandated a fix that would keep services as close to normal as possible, because that’s what the public wants.They used the same rationale to shoot down a second proposal from county staff that would have closed the Penn Valley and Bear River station libraries.The three proposals were milked down for the committee by county staff from about 10 ideas, according to County Librarian Mary Ann Trygg. She said the others were rejected because they did not meet current service levels.