La Crosse's Library Task Force met at city hall Tuesday to find ways to save money while cutting its spending
The task force came up with a total of 15 ideas. Some of them included rounding up late fines to the next closest dollar and replacing Saturday hours at branch libraries in lieu of hours on a weekday. Along with ideas, the task force is looking at working with the city's human resources department for an early retirement buy-out for eligible employees.
The group says they're proud of their ideas, but say there is a lot still work to be done.
"I'm sure the mayor is going to insist that these recommendations are addressed, and there are some pretty good ones in there. We still need to continue looking for an efficiency consultant come in here at the libraries and take a look at the process," said Andrea Richmond, Chair of the Library Task Force.
The recommendations will now go to the city council for approval.
Library Task Force Recommendations
1. Asking patrons if they are interested in rounding up to the next dollar when paying fines
2. Give a Gift fundraiser in November –consider charging admission to help raise funds; explore other options for giving
3. Library efficiency study/process management study - explore hiring Walter Jankowski of Re-Invention to do an analysis; or WILS; or local experts to complete a process management study
4. Continue communication with ALA Office of Library Advocacy; Recruit volunteer to generate ideas for fundraising to present to Library Board
5. Showcase the quality of the library - where money is being spent with programming and what makes our library quality. Clear articulation from the Library Board of the philosophy of the current operation of the library.
6. Efficiencies in programming across city departments (example computer courses offered by Parks Dept)
7. Explore Fundraising–branch open for 4 hours for one day ($30,000/yr) $300/4 hrs. Specific fundraising ask - $300 for one 4 hr day.
8. Recommend Mayor appoint a team to study mixed use opportunities and recommend – team to consist of City representative , Library Board Chair or Board Member, Task Force Chair or Member, County Representative
9. Continue pursuit of County funds for library use by non-resident patrons
10. Recommend continuing review of combining Library HR functions; meeting with Library Director, Library Board Member, Mayor, Library Task Force Chair, City HR Director
11. Recommend continuing review of combining Library IT functions; meeting with Library Director, Library Board Member, Mayor, Library Task Force Chair, City IT Director
12. Explore option with city's HR Department for early retirement buy-out for eligible employees
13. Include Saturday hours at branch libraries in lieu of hours on a weekday
14. Ask library employees for savings ideas
15. Continue looking for cost saving measures, work with city departments., such as maintenance, cleaning, delivery.