HONESDALE—Members of the Wayne Library Alliance (WLA) delivered their 2016 financial report to the Wayne County commissioners on Thursday May 4.
WLA Executive Director Molly Rodgers delivered the report, noting the arrival in the 2016 report of delayed 2015 state funding from an Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC).
Rodgers said this delayed arrival caused a slight “hiccup” in the report, giving the appearance of a countywide $100,000 revenue increase from last year when in reality the totals for the two years were much closer together.
Net revenue for the WLA is also lower than shown on the report as it has not accounted for the countywide library appeal for donations which are collected by the WLA on behalf of libraries designated by the donor. The money is then transferred from the WLA to its designated libraries at the end of the year.
“It's not exactly as rosy as it may look and we're not holding on to a lot of money either,” said Rodgers.
That being said, Rodgers was happy to report library fund collections from 2015 and 2016 exceeding $125,000 through two restricted “challenge” grants of from the John and Helen Villaume Foundation and matching funds from the WLA.
“That is money that does benefit the Alliance, but it is not unrestricted,” said Rodgers.
This money is housed in a fund established with the Wayne County Community Foundation and used primarily for WLA technological needs, said Rodgers.
Rodgers stated that fund will continue to accumulate donations in the future.
In addition to financial reporting, Rodgers also noted that 2016 saw a large turnover in library directors.
As such, she brought the directors of libraries in the alliance, some alliance board members and support staff to meet the commissioners face to face.
A representative from the Newfoundland Public Library was not present at the meeting as it was still advertising for a new director.
Rodgers reported that 2016 saw a wide increase in library programs across the county due to the directors' efforts, “fulfilling our role really as community centers.”
This programing includes things like summer reading programs at all libraries, the Bethany Rocketry Club which recently concluded, a “Mysteries at the Museum” program in the Wayne County Public Library, a Hawley Library writers' club, the “Rock Northern Wayne” program from the Northern Wayne Public Library, and a “Victorian Tea and Striptease” event presented by the friends of Pleasant Mount Library.
A full list of upcoming library events for each of the alliance libraries located in Bethany, Hamlin, Hawley, Honesdale, Lakewood, Newfoundland and Pleasant Mount can be found at: www.waynelibraries.org.