Countdown to Library Decision Day: Public or Private Hands?

by Friends of the Truckee Library

The Current Situation:

In early February 2010, Nevada County will make a decision about the future of our library. A short time ago, the County established three committees to recommend the best management model for Nevada County libraries in the current fiscal downturn:

  • Citizens’ Oversight Committee (COC)
  • Ad Hoc Committee
  • County Administration Committee
  • After considering multiple budget options, the County presented the COC with three options for review on January 13:

  • Option A – A County management model based on a Truckee Friends of the Library proposal.
  • Option B – A County management model that closes two library branches.
  • Option C – A contractor operated model submitted by LSSI, a private for-profit corporation based in  Maryland.
  • The COC unanimously recommended Option A which:

  • Keeps the library in public hands.
  • Keeps all of the County library branches open with high service levels.
  • Maintains the professional quality of library staffing and programming.
  • Keeps the library system operating with a positive fund balance for the next 5 years.
  • Maintains full accountability and transparency to the public – something a private corporation is not required to do.
  • When the second committee, the Ad Hoc, met on January 20, County Administrators had added a fourth Option D, which keeps the libraries under public control, but cuts programs and staff – specifically Children’s Librarians — in order to keep more money in a reserve account.

    The Ad-Hoc committee voted for keeping the Library under County management, and against any private outsourcing.

    They were split between Options A and D. The major difference between the two is this: Option A keeps all professional staff while maintaining a positive fund balance; Option D cuts professional librarians by more than half – including all children’s librarians. Cutting children’s librarians goes against the language of Measure C (overwhelmingly approved by voters) which expressly states that the tax revenues will be used for ” Increased Children’s and Young Adults’ Programs.”

    Option A, which the Friends developed with County staff, has been endorsed by both the Eastern and Western County Friends of the Library. Nevada County citizens have clearly expressed their opposition to outsourcing and their strong support for keeping all library branches open and run by professional staff.

    What You Can Do:

    • Support Option A – the option proposed by the Truckee Friends of the Library. It keeps the library and your tax money in public hands; maintains the quality and   professionalism of the libraries and keeps the library operating with a positive fund balance for the next five years.  In addition, Option A preserves our children’s librarians and our high caliber children’s programming.
    • Call or email the five County Supervisors (listed below), including Ted Owens, our local Supervisor.  Urge them to support keeping our libraries public with the Option A budget model that maintains the levels of staff and services.

      Nate Beeson (District 1) Email Phone: 530-265-1480

      Ed Scofield (District 2) Email Phone: 530-265-1480

      John Spencer (District 3) Email Phone: 530-265-1480

      Hank Weston (District 4) Email Phone: 530-265-1480

      Ted Owens (District 5) Email Phone: 530-265-1480

    • Send this information to your friends and associates. Urge them to support Option A. Your tax money and our beloved community library are at stake.

    Thank you!

    Truckee Friends of the Library

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