Library panel will seek to preserve threatened genealogical services

December 17, 1992|By Greg Tasker | Greg Tasker,Staff Writer

Carroll County's library board formed a committee last night to find ways to continue to provide genealogical services.

Library officials had proposed that the Carroll County Genealogical Society develop a plan to house and maintain the collection housed at the Westminster branch.

However, Harold Robertson told the Carroll County Library Board of Trustees that the non-profit organization didn't have the financial resources to lease space for the collection and also maintain services.

"I think it's a good solution," Mr. Robertson said of the planned committee study. He will be one of four members of the committee.

Mr. Robertson, a member of the genealogical society, was among 20 people who attended the board's meeting at library headquarters on Airport Drive in Westminster to protest eliminating the service.

Martha Makosky, library director, has proposed eliminating genealogical services as part of a $118,755 cut to the library's $4.2 million budget for fiscal 1993.

The cuts, she said, stem from the state's withdrawal of Social Security payments for teachers, librarians and community college employees and because of a $15,000 budget deficit.

Eliminating the genealogical services, which include paying library staff to help family researchers and local historians, would mean a savings of $10,653 for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30.

Other savings would be realized because of the delay in opening a library branch in Mount Airy, $25,000; reductions in materials budget, $70,102; elimination of consultant work and customer survey, $5,800; and eliminating the use of personal computers, $7,200.

"There are no other places where we can make budget cuts," Ms. Makosky said. "We can no longer have both quality and quantity."

Members of the genealogical society and local historians urged the library board to allow the Davis Room, which houses the genealogical collection and local history, to remain open.

Society members and others offered to volunteer their time to staff the room.

"I would like to see the room stay open," said John Bankert of Westminster, who presented the board with petitions containing 164 signatures opposed to the elimination of the genealogical services.

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