Public Library Board approved a new draft of the 2021 budget at its meeting
Thursday that included a three percent raise for employees.
After discussion in
June about whether or not to figure annual raises into the 2021 budget with
economic uncertainty looming ahead due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board
unanimously approved a version of the budget that gives employees a three
percent cost of living adjustment. WPL has historically given an annual two
percent cost of living adjustment.
WPL’s total 2021
budget is $3,834.112. A three percent cost of living adjustment would cost
$45,729.21 if all 80 positions at WPL were staffed, which they are not.
Lisa Stamm reported the Department of Local Government Finance is
recommending WPL plan as if it will be fully funded in 2021 but know that
the negative effects of the pandemic could affect the budget over the next
Stamm said staff
have been working harder than normal to operate the library safely amid
COVID-19 and extra pay is warranted especially as they now have the added
risk of interacting with the public.
The other major
change Stamm noted is she shifted funds from the Repairs and Maintenance
line item to increase Cleaning and Sanitation Supplies from $30,000 in 2020
to $75,000 in 2021.
Michele Corazzo complimented Stamm for her work on the budget. “I think you
did an excellent job getting it all pulled together,” she said. Stamm said
staff will appreciate the Board-approved raise and some have also told her
they’re grateful the Board approved her policy requiring masks in library
In other finance
business, Stamm reported WPL has spent a total of $10,696.50 on COVID-19
related expenses such as extra cleaning supplies, personal protective
equipment, and materials for curbside pickup and reopening.
there has been little foot traffic since WPL reopened to the public July 6,
but patrons who have come in are following social distancing and mask
requirements so far. Furniture was rearranged, hanging protective barriers
were built and installed at service desks, and signs were put up in
preparation for reopening. Each staff member has been issued five reusable
masks and a face shield.
Stamm noted the
Westchester Township History Museum is not open yet because it will require
its own plan, as a much smaller space than the Thomas and Hageman branches.
Meeting rooms are also not available for use, as they pose an extra risk to
patrons and staff as confined spaces, and they’re also being used to
quarantine returned materials.
WPL’s 3D printer in good repair on June 11, Stamm said. WPL loaned the
printer to InHealth shortly after the Library closed to the public, and it
enabled them to print components for 2,000 N-95 equivalent masks, according
There were 1,277
curbside pickups at the Thomas Branch and 145 at Hageman during June. WPL
hosted 36 virtual programs that received 1,824 views. Stamm said she and
staff are exploring ways to host socially-distanced and safe outdoor
programing. In the meantime, curbside craft kits are available, and the
summer concert series has moved to a virtual format.