Volunteer staff to be urged for genealogy area

January 13, 1993|By Greg Tasker | Greg Tasker,Staff Writer

An ad hoc committee will recommend today that Carroll County's library board keep the genealogical collection in a separate area at the Westminster branch where volunteers, instead of employees, can look after it.

As part of a $118,755 cost-cutting plan, the library administration last month recommended eliminating genealogical services in the Westminster branch's Davis Room, which would have meant removing the genealogical collection from the branch.

When family historians and others objected, the library board proposed letting the Carroll County Genealogical Society, which owns the collection with the county library system, develop a plan to house and maintain it.

Society members, however, said the non-profit group couldn't afford that.

Society members urged the board to consider other options, and the committee was appointed to find a solution.

The committee's proposal calls for the genealogical collection to be removed from the Davis Room, which also houses local history, and placed elsewhere in the library, preferably near the Davis Room.

Harold Robertson, genealogical society president and an ad hoc committee member, said his group is organizing a program to train volunteers who would help family researchers use the collection.

The library board will consider the committee's recommendation at its meeting at 7:30 p.m. at library headquarters, 115 Airport Drive, Westminster.

"We met our basic requirement of keeping the collection in the library and making the information available to the public," Mr. Robertson said. "The library hasn't been at all unfair. They've had to cut money. They've given us the best facility possible."

Library officials yesterday declined to comment on the proposal.

"All parties have found the [proposal] agreeable," said Ann Wisner, a library spokeswoman.

The library administration has recommended reassigning a staff member, who formerly helped family researchers with genealogical services, to a vacant position in another area.

The move would mean savings of $10,653 in the library's $4.2 million budget for fiscal 1993.

The library administration would not allow volunteers to staff the genealogical collection in the Davis Room because of the valuable library-owned materials there.

The cost cuts are needed to offset the state's withdrawal of Social Security payments for teachers, librarians and community college employees, and a $15,000 budget deficit.

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