Proposition 4 will ask voters to OK $18,000 tax levy increase for library operations
CANANDAIGUA — It’s one of the area’s top go-to hubs for reading, learning and connecting. And that reach is growing.
On Tuesday, May 16, Wood Library will ask Canandaigua City School District voters to consider a proposition that would increase the facility’s community-based funding to $648,000. That’s a 2.8 percent, or $18,000, increase over the $630,000 approved by voters in 2016.
If approved, the increase will add $1.19 to the tax bill of a property assessed at $150,000, and is projected to be within the library’s state-mandated tax cap.
Library Board President Katherine Nevin describes Wood Library as “an essential community resource and learning center” that “offers hundreds of programs annually that contribute to dialogue on important issues, improve literacy, enrich lives, and expand cultural awareness.”
“The library is a place where everyone is welcomed, connections are made, doors are opened, and information is shared,” said Nevin in a prepared statement. “It adds tremendous value to our quality of life and the documented return on taxpayer investment is in the millions of dollars.”
Wood Library’s 2018 projected budget is $900,000, which reflects an overall increase of $24,656, largely driven by cost-of-living adjustments to salaries and benefits, including mandated minimum wage increases, according to Library Director Jenny Goodemote.
In response to public requests, the library will also increase the number of hours it is open, starting at 9 a.m. on weekdays beginning in 2018. This will add 260 hours to the library’s annual hours of operation, Goodemote said.
Additional funding will also help replace some of Wood Library’s older computers, she said. That will allow patrons to better access popular online tools such as Ancestry.com and Mango, which is language-learning software.
Whether it’s preschoolers learning pre-reading skills, children and teens finding ideas and information for school projects, or adults learning to use a computer and the internet via a class or one-on-one technical help, the number of library patrons continues to grow, Goodemote said.
People without computers or internet service at home use the library to apply for jobs, complete tax forms, print documents, and search for information. Or they may use the library to find information about health and wellness, parenting, college financial aid, social services, consumer products, and local history, she said.
In 2016, attendance at Wood Library’s 1,523 programs rose 7 percent. Total library visits were up 21 percent, eBook and digital audio downloads increased 22 percent, and wireless sessions were up 23 percent. Library meeting rooms were used 586 times by community organizations — up 61 percent from 2015.
And last year, 3,647 children and teens participated in 187 summer-time activities to…