Library Budget Cuts Revealed

From a Nazareth Memorial Library Press Release

The Memorial Library of Nazareth and Vicinity faces a $56,000 shortfall in 2020 due to reduced budget distributions primarily from Upper Nazareth Township ($48,000), as well as Lower Nazareth Township ($7,980). This budget deficit represents a 13% decrease of total municipal funding in the board approved 2020 library budget. 

  • On February 6, 2020 the Library Board voted to reduce services in seven areas of the library’s budget including: staffing, professional development, technology, furniture replacement, janitorial services, utilities and library programs.
  • Three part-time staff members were affected, which is 20% of library staff. These changes primarily impact the services offered by the library’s children department.
  • Effective March 1st, the children’s department will close an hour early at 7PM on Tuesday’s, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
  • Beginning March 1st, the library will no longer provide offsite story time programming at several local preschools, there will no longer be weekly story times at Lower Nazareth township Municipal building, craft and story times at UNT Tuskes Community Park will be eliminated, and the library will no longer be able to participate in select community events that encourage basic literacy to children
  • Adult programs will also be impacted. Personal enrichment classes like painting and cooking, musical and performance events, lectures, and book clubs will be curtailed. Services provided on site at Moravian Hall Square, including book deliveries, book discussions and reading aloud to visually impaired residents will be discontinued.
  • The library’s technology budget was decreased by 19% for 2020 resulting in postponing equipment replacement. The library will discontinue offering Rosetta Stone, the online language tool that offered language instruction in over 30 languages both by remove and in-library use to library patrons.
  • The library will reduce cleanings from four days a week, to three and small building maintenance projects will be postponed until 2021.

During their February 19th meeting, Supervisors voted to send a referendum question to the Election’s Office. 394 citizens signed a petition requesting the question be put on the ballot. If it is approved, UNT citizens will vote on library funding during the April 28th election.

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