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In light of the most recent cuts to its operating budget, the Sacramento Public Library system is conducting an online community feedback survey to receive input on what programs and services the community values most.
The goal is to make the “best possible decision we can with the least amount of impact,” said Denise Davis, deputy library director of the Sacramento Public Library.
The Sacramento Public Library system held three community forums in mid-July to address the 10 percent cut in its general fund, which came out to about $800,000.
Sixty-five people in total attended the three meetings, most attending the McKinley Library forum. In order to receive the input from those who weren’t able to attend, an eight-question survey is now available on the library’s website.
Shortly before the community forums began, library staff also learned about an additional $600,000 in cuts to be made from the county level, bringing the total reduction in the library operating fund to $1.4 million, which could mean a loss in branches, programs and staff.
With the addition of three new libraries to the system from August 2009 to August 2010, the system is “currently operating using the ‘reserve’ fund,” meaning you are spending more then you receive each year, said Rivkah Sass, director of the Sacramento Public Library.
Both directors agreed that the community forums gave much input to work with, and they will consider all input for their proposal to the Sacramento Library Authority in September.
“We want to try to make the best decisions we can, and we hope the community is aware of the challenges we have,” Sass said.
The survey asks the community which branches may be used the most, which days of the week and hours of the day are the most important to members and which programs and services have the highest value to the community. The survey also asks about the possibility of voluntary fees for some services to remain.
The community feedback survey will remain open through Aug. 15. Any changes will take effect late in September or early October. The survey can be taken here.