Panel to discuss library budget cuts Genealogical collection may be affected

December 30, 1992|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,Staff Writer

The committee formed to study whether Carroll County Public Library budget cuts will affect its genealogical collection has scheduled its first meeting for 1 p.m. tomorrow.

"There's no collusion here," said library board of trustees President Martha Hankins of the New Year's Eve meeting. "It's just the time that everyone could get together."

Committee members plan to discuss how to keep the library's genealogical materials accessible to the public and yet cut the nTC CCPL's $4.2 million budget by $118,775. That sum is needed to cover Social Security payments for librarians that the state has stopped paying, as well as a $15,000 deficit.

Library director Martha M. Makosky had suggested at the library board's Dec. 16 meeting that $10,653 of the cut be absorbed by reassigning library adult services specialist Janet Colburn to the central desk, filling a vacancy created by a recent resignation.

Ms. Colburn, a member of the county genealogical society, currently spends part of her time training and supervising volunteers to help researchers using the genealogical collection.

The board agreed to create the committee when members of the Carroll County Genealogical Society protested the cuts at the last board meeting.

"Selling the collection and closing the [Davis] room [that houses the collection] were never part of the proposal," said Ms. Hankins, refuting recent rumors. "The genealogical society's concern is making the materials accessible to the public.

"The library's concern is that we can no longer provide a staff member to answer very specialized questions about researching specific families."

Ms. Hankins, comparing genealogical research with other hobbies, said the library may end up having to refer library patrons to the genealogical society or specific members for further information about how to discover family histories.

The library owns general information about genealogical research, she said. More specialized information about specific family histories is primarily owned by the genealogical society.

"Like with stamp collecting, you can find the basic information about how to get started in the library," Ms. Hankins said. "However, when you need more specific information, you usually ask a stamp club."

Committee members, chosen at the last board meeting, are:

* Harold Robertson, president of the genealogical society.

* Patrick O'Donnell, president of the Carroll County Roots user group, a club of genealogical researchers who use the Roots computer software program.

* DruAnn Click, a member of both societies who has had experience in fund-raising and has been outspoken with ideas on adjusting the library budget.

* Library director Martha M. Makosky.

* Library board members Eugenia Gartrell and Lanny Harchenhorn. Board members were chosen based on who had the time to work on the committee, Ms. Hankins said.

Other proposed savings include a $70,102 reduction in the materials budget, $5,800 from eliminating consultant work and a customer survey, and $25,000 by opening the new Mount Airy branch late.

Another $7,200 would come from selling or reassigning the personal computers purchased for public use.

The library has already reduced money earmarked for equipment, furniture, library supplies and building supplies from its budget in recent years.

"When you are weighing budget choices, you have to think about what will benefit the widest number of people," Ms. Gartrell said. "If you have to cut, you try to cut what will affect the fewest number of people."

About 92,000 people used Carroll County's libraries last year, while 98 county residents are members of the genealogical society, she said.

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