Monday, August 30, 2004

Library Funding Cuts - a Nationwide Problem

Katonah Village Library is not the only library concerned with its budget and seeking to set up an operating endowment. Here's another example.

Libraries constantly struggle to maintain the high quality of services they offer and to retain talented staff. Public librarians in New York State are required to have an master's degree in library science. Despite their high level of specialized knowledge and education, librarians are routinely paid far less than other, similar master's degree holders (as in information techology, for instance). Next time you stop by the library, thank a librarian for her dedication to library work. At the present time, an MLS degree from Long Island University (the one local university to offer the degree in Westchester County) costs upwards of $25,000. Paying off those loans is difficult on a librarian's salary.

In addition to librarians, libraries employ clerks (those friendly people who check your books in and out, among many other vital duties) and pages (generally, local teens who work after school shelving books so they're in proper order and readily available soon after being returned to the library).

The operating endowment we seek to set up will help us attract and retain the wonderful staff you've come to expect from Katonah Village Library. This is just one small way the endowment will help Katonah Village Library continue to be the heart of the community.