Plan for family tree program aims to keep it rooted in library Budget cuts led to transplant idea

January 04, 1993|By Bill Talbott | Bill Talbott,Staff Writer

You should still be able to trace the family tree at the library in Westminster.

An advisory group met last week to develop a plan to keep the local genealogical program there despite library budget cuts.

The panel was appointed by the library's board of trustees following a proposal by Martha M. Makosky, the county library director, to move the genealogy section out of the Davis Room of the Westminster branch and save about $30,900 over the next two years.

The library board had proposed letting a nonprofit group or a private, for-profit company take over the collection. But more than a dozen people, including county Commissioners Donald Dell and Elmer Lippy and members of several genealogy societies, supported keeping the records at the library.

"The representatives present at the meeting have reached an acceptable compromise, but I am unable to release any additional information before the board of trustees meet on Jan. 13," said Ms. Makosky, who attended the 2 1/2 -hour advisory group meeting on New Year's Eve.

"We feel we have accomplished a short-range compromise and have come to a meeting of the minds, though nothing is written in stone," said Eugenia Gartrell, the only library board member present at the meeting. "I have no doubt it will be accepted when it is sent to all the board members and discussed at our next meeting.

"This is something we have to try and see if it works."

Dru Ann Click, a member of the Westminster Roots Users Group and the Carroll County Historical Society, agreed.

"I am pleased with the results of the meeting," Mrs. Click said. "There was a compromise on both sides."

She added that the groups she is involved with were just "hoping to keep something accessible to the public -- that is our goal."

The county library system faces $118,000 in state budget cuts for the current fiscal year.

An additional proposal to cut $70,000 from the $641,000 budget used to buy materials was not discussed.

The panel's compromise will be presented to the members of the users group at their next meeting Saturday, Mrs. Click said.

Also present at the advisory group's meeting were members of the Carroll County Genealogy Society, who told the panel that they supported keeping the program at the library.

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