Budget season is in full swing and the local libraries aren’t excluded. Voters will take to the polls on Tuesday, April 14, to weigh in on proposed spending plans and elections of library trustees.
North Shore Public Library Director Laura Hawrey said in a phone interview that the proposed small increase of 0.9 percent from the current year would allow for additional programs at the library. Language programs, including Spanish, Italian and English, will have additional offerings.
“All of the language programs are very popular,” she said.
In addition, the library will continue to build its multicultural program, which exposes people to music and arts from different cultures.
Following another trend many libraries are experiencing, North Shore will continue to supply readers’ demand for e-books.
“We are increasing the e-books and decreasing the amount of [printed] books,” she said.
But old-fashioned book lovers shouldn’t be worried. Hawrey said books could be easily accessed through interlibrary loan. The loan system has contributed to a decrease in a need to have as many books in-house.
Under the spending plan, an average resident in the Rocky Point and Shoreham-Wading River school districts will pay an additional $3 annually.
Incumbent library Board of Trustees President Bill Schiavo is running unopposed for his third five-year term. In a phone interview, the retired high school English teacher and Stony Brook University professor said he has always been a book and library lover.
Schiavo said he and his fellow board members have worked to make sure taxpayers are getting some bang for their buck.
“Any increase we have, however minimal, is designed to go [toward] new programs,” he said.
Schiavo said he first ran with the goal of creating an annex library in the Rocky Point area, as the community needs more meeting spaces for residents. While this hasn’t come to fruition just yet due to financial constraints, Schiavo said the whole board is well aware of the need and will continue to look for space.