Library exploring support through survey

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Board seeks ideas for garnering tax levy increase

Patrons of the Barry-Lawrence Regional Library are being asked to fill out a survey through January to give managers a better idea of what the public wants while considering funding options.

According to Gina Milburn, library director, the library board is still considering going back to voters with a funding initiative. The 15-cent increase in the property tax levy last April only won 44 percent support. The board subsequently approved suspending Saturday service.

Milburn said the library would not go back to voters in April. There is no interest in competing with the sales tax proposed by the City of Monett to pay for a new swimming pool. She hoped the survey would provide direction where the district can win popular support.

The first question asks if the customer has a library card. Milburn said the library wants to reach out to non-customers as well as its regular users. She would like to hold public meetings on the tax proposal, but conceded the difficulty in drawing an audience to such gatherings.

The survey asks for opinions about the local library branch, rating the hours of operation and the days of the week, the value of different areas in the library and services within the branch like computers and the drive-up book drop.

The survey asks about which services patrons would like to the library pursue, and which new services they would like to see, including 3D printers, laptops for checkout, makerspaces for crafting, early childhood literacy and books by mail.

The survey asks if there is support for a tax levy increase that would cost approximately $20 more annually.

The survey will be available at branches through January and at any public meetings that may be scheduled.

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