Cities Without Libraries

Have You Talked With the Cities Without Libraries About the Request for Funding?

A library director from Buchanan County met with the various city councils to let them know that requesting money for their residents to continue to have library services would most likely be coming down the pike. The library directors voluntarily assigned themselves to a city, asked to be on the agenda, and attended one of their city council meetings. This happened during the winter of 2008-2009.

The next communication was a letter addressed to the mayors, city councils and city clerks. The invitation was sent the middle of March 2010, to each city hall in the county. It was an invitation to the joint meeting held for all city officials in the county to discuss library services and contracts at a meeting scheduled in April 2010.

The joint meeting took place at the Winthrop City Hall on April 13, 2010. All mayors, city clerks and city councils were invited...both those with and those without libraries. During that meeting there was a lot of discussion about library services and payment for them. One speaker was a library director for Dubuque County who told how things happened when her county went through a very similar process.

The cities with libraries then developed and entered into a 28E (joint) agreement to become the Cities with Libraries in Buchanan County (CLBC). The 28E outlines and gives CLBC the right to contract with cities without libraries.

In November 2010, all cities without libraries were mailed a letter and a contract. The letter outlined the agreement and requested that each city sign the contract and pay $2 per capita in order for their city residents to continue to receive library services. That amount goes up $1 per year until it reaches a cap of 75% of the average city funding for libraries within Buchanan County. The initial contracts were due by June 1, 2011.

For all the cities without libraries, we began the process early and sent the contracts out before the cities were deep into budget discussions for the next fiscal year. The CLBC has made every attempt to be fair and to communicate fully about the process and expectations.