The Truckee Library saga continues: Ad-Hoc Committee weighs in | SierraSun.com

The Truckee Library saga continues: Ad-Hoc Committee weighs in

Pam McAdoo
Special to the Sun

Here is a short recap and update on the latest developments on the future of the Nevada County libraries. A short time ago, the county established three committees to recommend the best management model for Nevada County libraries in the current fiscal downturn:

and#8226; Citizensand#8217; Oversight Committee (COC)

and#8226; Ad Hoc Committee

and#8226; County Administration Committee

After considering multiple budget options, the County presented the COC with three options for review on Jan. 13:

and#8226; Option A – A County management model based on a Truckee Friends of the Library proposal.————-

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and#8226; Option B – A County management model that closes two library branches.

and#8226; Option C – A contractor operated model submitted by LSSI, a private for-profit corporation based in Maryland.

The Citizenand#8217;s Oversight Committee unanimously recommended Option A which: Keeps the library in public hands. Keeps all of the county library branches open with high service levels. Maintains the professional quality of library staffing and programming. Keeps the library system operating with a positive fund balance. Maintains full accountability and transparency to the public and#8212; something a private corporation is not required to do.

When the second committee, the Ad Hoc, met on Jan. 20, County Administrators had added a fourth Option D, which keeps the libraries under public control, but cuts programs and staff and#8212; specifically childrenand#8217;s librarians and#8212; in order to keep more money in a reserve account.

While the Ad-Hoc committee voted for keeping the library under county management, and against any private outsourcing, they were split between Options A and D. The major difference between the two is this: Option A keeps all professional staff while maintaining a positive fund balance; Option D cuts professional librarians by more than half and#8212; including all childrenand#8217;s librarians. Cutting childrenand#8217;s librarians goes against the language of Measure C (overwhelmingly approved by voters) which expressly states the tax revenues will be used for and#8220;Increased Childrenand#8217;s and Young Adultand#8217;s Programs.and#8221;

Option A, which the Friends developed with county staff, has been endorsed by both the Eastern and Western County Friends of the Library. Nevada County citizens have clearly expressed their opposition to outsourcing and their strong support for keeping all library branches open and run by professional staff.

Deb Abbadie, a former Nevada County Librarian, eloquently emphasized and#8220;and#8230;the importance of maintaining childrenand#8217;s services, not only the programming, which is popular with young library patrons and their families, but also the support for children who come into the library every day needing assistance. The library is there to help those wanting to educate themselves, improve their lives, and by doing so, benefit society. With [declining funds affecting] the quality of education, and with higher education becoming more costly and#8230; access to the library and the help of professionals becomes even more important. It may sound trite, and is generally used in other contexts, but the phrase and#8216;pay now, or pay laterand#8217; can be applied to the library, and specifically childrenand#8217;s services. For many children, the availability and the support of childrenand#8217;s services and childrenand#8217;s librarians have made, and can continue to make, a significant difference in their lives and their futures.and#8221;

The Friends of the Library urge you to call or e-mail the five County Supervisors including Ted Owens, our local supervisor (visit truckeefol.org for contact information). Urge them to support keeping our libraries public with the Option A budget model that maintains the levels of services and preserves our professional staff. Especially the childrenand#8217;s librarians who are responsible for our high caliber services and programs which help children fall in love with books, reading and the whole world of knowledge and information.

Library hours

Monday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Tuesday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Wednesday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Thursday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Friday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Winter Reading Program through Feb. 28 for ages 5-12

Storytime

Tuesday Toddler Time at 10:30 a.m. (2 to 3 year olds)

Babes in Bookland Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. (6 months to 2 years)

Storytelling with Mrs. Fix on Thursdays at 11:15 a.m. (3 years and up)

Pajama Time, First Thursday of the month at 6 p.m. (all ages)

Bookshelfand#8217;s Dry Camp Book Club at the library

Meets monthly at the Library. Participants at the book group meeting will receive a coupon for 15 percent off a one-time book purchase at the Bookshelf at Hooligan Rocks. Everyone is welcome.

Now on display at the library

Portraits by Truckee artist Raphael Jolly

Above the Fireplace: Sand Harbor in oils by Linda Dand#8217;Toole