COVID changes way Wood Library does business

CANANDAIGUA – Besides voting on a school budget and school board candidates, residents in the Canandaigua City School District will be asked to weigh a community-based funding increase for Wood Library that, in part, addresses the cost of technology upgrades to enable hybrid meetings and programs, according to Executive Director Jenny Goodemote.

The vote is 7 am to 9 pm Tuesday, May 17.

The proposed upgrades represent a silver lining that arose from the COVID-19 pandemic, Goodemote said.

“People these days are used to those meetings or used to not having to be in a physical setting to view a library program or meetings,” Goodemote said. “We’re going to try and make it easier for the public to stay home and still participate in library programs, if that’s what they choose.”

Here’s what it will cost you

The Canandaigua-based library is asking for voters to increase library-based funding by $ 73,250 over the base amount that was approved by voters in 2021.

If approved, the increase will add $ 2.51 to the total October tax bill of a property assessed at $ 150,000, and increase the library property tax rate by 1.7 cents per $ 1,000 of assessed property value.

Wood Library’s 2023 projected budget is $ 1,173,000.

When the levy for Wood Library was first approved in 2012, it represented 75% of the total operating budget. Today, community-based funding supports 70% of the library’s budget, library officials said. If the proposition passes, community-based funding will be closer to 72% of the total operating budget. Fundraising and the amount tapped from endowment income will have to increase to $ 328,750 to fully fund operations, library officials said.

The proposed increase will address state-mandated minimum-wage increases and cost-of-living adjustments, as well as support technology upgrades focused on security and access, and ensure that everyone can continue to obtain the library’s range of services, Goodemote said.

Building on 2021

In 2021, Wood Library introduced fine-free borrowing for patrons, hoopla digital media service, a 3D printer, online calendar updates, take-and-make kits, an eSports League, and Tai Chi classes.

The library was visited 64,428 times (an increase of 35% from 2020), and 11,263 people used their library card to check out 158,234 items (an increase of 37%). Digital checkouts totaled 57,825 (up 16%). Also, 14,091 people participated in 521 live programs, and 117 recorded library programs were viewed by 10,539 persons. Staff supported 436 reference requests. Public internet computers were used 7,606 times (up 16%) and wireless sessions totaled 4,419 (up 9%).

Also, 224 new digital library cards were issued (an increase of 57%) and staff supported 42 notary appointments. Through a partnership with AARP, 298 people received tax assistance.

Impact on residents

Wood Library is an essential community resource focused on equal and inclusive access, literacy and learning, and community, Library Trustee and Board President Jill Werth said in a prepared statement.

“People engage with the library in new ways all the time,” Werth stated. “There is a demand for more digital services and diverse materials. We are constantly refreshing and growing our physical and digital collections to build connections and cultivate understanding between readers. Library spaces are changing too as we accommodate large and small group discussions, study, experiential learning, and play. ”

Many of the modifications made in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will remain, including digital library cards, a more robust digital ebook and downloadable collection, digital services like hoopla, virtual and hybrid programming, and the expansion of the library’s Wi-Fi hot spot program.

Curbside delivery service remains an option for some, and mail delivery service is also available for homebound people.

“It (COVID) changed the way we do business, in a good way. We’re going to continue curbside pickup and also online card registration, which we didn’t do before, ”Goodemote said. “Of course, the hybrid programming is going to play a big role, too.”

To vote

The library proposition – Proposition No. 3 – will appear on the same ballot as the Canandaigua City School District budget.

State education law allows libraries to appeal to school district voters for community-based funding and changes to the levy. An increase in the levy must be presented to school district voters for approval by proposition.

Residents who live in the city of Canandaigua, the town of Canandaigua in voting districts 1, 2, and 3, and the towns of East Bloomfield, Farmington, Gorham and Hopewell can vote at Canandaigua Primary-Elementary School LINK gymnasium.

People who live in the town of Canandaigua in voting districts 4, 5, 6, and 7 and the towns of Bristol and South Bristol can vote at the Cheshire Fire Hall.

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