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From the Director: Preserving Libraries
The new year is a great time to show your library some love.
A recent national media article chronicled the potentially devastating effects of budget cuts to U.S. public libraries, noting that many are currently threatened with staff cuts, reduced hours and even branch closings. It seems incomprehensible, but libraries are not immune to the cutbacks facing so many other vital services and institutions in our communities.
At KDL, most of our budget (87 percent) comes directly from taxpayers like you through your property taxes. When property values decline, so does our funding. Additional cuts anticipated at the state level next year could amount to an added loss of $1.1 million in revenue for KDL. These cuts come as patrons are using KDL's services even more due to the tough economy. If Governor Snyder's plan to eliminate personal property taxes for businesses is approved without some form of replacement funds for libraries, cutbacks that are happening at other public libraries will happen here too.
We have worked hard to keep past cuts from impacting those services most valued by our patrons. Still, you have likely noticed fewer copies of books on the shelves, a decreased number of library employees at your local branch, or perhaps we are no longer offering a program you have come to enjoy. While we remain dedicated to providing you with the very best service possible no matter the financial circumstances, we could use your help to preserve the library services you love. I've listed below a few simple things you can do to support the library:
Beginning January 14, KDL will require patrons to enter their PIN (Personal Identification Number) when checking out materials at our self checkout stations in addition to using their library card. This policy will add privacy and protection if someone's library card is lost or stolen.
Your PIN is a unique four-digit code needed to access a number of library services, including your online library account information. The PIN you are originally assigned is the last four digits of your telephone number; however, you can update your PIN at any time through your online account.
If you cannot recall your PIN and you have signed up for email alerts, you can use the "Forget Your PIN?" feature to choose a new one. You can also contact your local branch or our Patron Services Department (616-784-2007 or firstname.lastname@example.org) and a staff member can assist you.
Did you get an eBook reader for Christmas? We can help you put it to good use. KDL cardholders have access to more than 5,000 free eBooks! KDL's eBook collection is available 24/7, and since items are "returned" automatically, you'll never have to worry about late fines.
Would you like to improve your computer proficiency? Take a Computer Confidence Class! Kent District Library offers a variety of free classes for adults, including Email Basics, Online Photo Editing, Microsoft Powerpoint and many more. Registration is required and participation is limited. Classes fill fast, so sign up today by calling 616-784-2007.