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Roxbury Library Overview, November 2023

November 13th, 2023 by admin | Filed under 1, About Us, Community News, Library Services, News.

The Roxbury Library staff, volunteers, and Board members recently attended a meeting of the Roxbury Town Board and made the following presentation:

The support of the Town Board is vital to the day to day operations of the Library, and we could not function without these funds.  We are here tonight with our volunteers, staff, and Library Board members to ask that the  Town contribution to the Library be increased from the proposed $20,000, which would represent $8.90 per capita annually.  While we deeply appreciate the contribution, our operating costs have increased along with the cost of living.  The Town’s previous contribution has been $17,500 since 2019 with total tax income per capita chartered to serve at $7.79: at this rate, we rank #37 of the 42 libraries within the Four County Library System in terms of local government contribution.

The Roxbury Library is unusual in what we offer to our community at large.  In addition to the usual library services we offer free WiFi, four patron computers, printers and copiers including a wireless option, and a fax.  Many local residents who don’t have WiFi at home use ours for free and a large number of people come in to print various papers:  return shipping labels, DMV and DSS paperwork, etc.  We have a Notary Public on staff, services free of charge.  We now have a lighted front outdoor area for WiFi users as well, creating a safer space after dark.  We are the only source of public computers, printing, and WiFi in town.

During COVID we were open for abbreviated hours as well as for curb-side service, which we still offer.  This was extremely important during the pandemic:  when so many businesses in town were closed - we were available.  We’ve since reopened with expanded hours including an early start on weekdays of 8:30 which has been convenient for many of our patrons.  We’ve hosted Tuesday Forums throughout the year, a Summer Reading program in conjunction with RCS, a Saturday presentation for First Time Home Buyers, a Breast Cancer Survivors Support Group, school groups, a new Toddler reading group, a non-fiction reading group, and a poetry group is being organized by Writers in the Mountains.  We are also the major collection point for the local food pantry donations.

There are four major sources of income besides the Town contribution for the Library, including the Thrift Shoppe, Silent Auction, Holiday Bazaar, and the Annual Appeal letter is sent to all postal customers in the RCS district of Roxbury, Grand Gorge, Denver, Vega, and Halcottsville.  We watch every penny spent, and we are careful stewards of funds.

The Thrift Shoppe income is a crucial part of our financial picture and during 2022 provided approximately 25% of our total income.  The Thrift provides an invaluable service to the Roxbury community by offering low-priced quality items to all and also donating clothing to families in need and to school children at RCS.

We’ve recently been awarded two grants - one primarily to update a dangerous electrical situation and the latest one will provide us with six new computers.  But, without additional assistance for operating expenses:  heating oil, utilities, salaries, snow plowing, etc., new technology and safer electrics will not keep our doors open.

The Roxbury Library is the hub of our community: it’s the one place where all can gather - long term residents, new residents, visitors, and those passing through.  Thank you so much for your support.