Jacksonville Public Library’s Proposed Budget for FY 2017

Jacksonville Public Library’s Proposed Budget for FY 2017


In March, the Jacksonville Public Library (JPL), along with all other city departments, was asked to submit the Fiscal Year 2017 budget as a “Same Level of Service” budget to the Budget Office by April.  Same Level of Service means that expenses could be adjusted based on real time costs and those changes would be considered.  At the same time JPL also created several proposed “Enhancements” that JPL Staff and the Board of Library Trustees wanted to have included in the budget including:

  • $505,274 for increased collections system wide (collections funding overall have decreased over 45% since 2005);
  • $857,721 for adding 14+ staff and supporting expenses to open 9 branches that did not have expanded hours this fiscal year with an additional combined 72 hours per week;
  • $413,147 for 6+ staff and supporting expenses to increase the Main Library’s operating hours by 10 hours a week;
  • $109,500 to fund carpet cleaning and painting system wide since the State Aid to libraries funding was cut by over $300,000 for FY2017;
  • $63,000 for professional development, most staff have a Masters Degree or higher and maintaining those professional skills is vital for continued growth of the staff and the system; and
  • $50,000 for funding the FY2017 Summer Reading Program; currently the General Fund provides no funding for programming.

The Same Level of Service budget, without enhancements, added about $38,000 to the General Fund budget over several categories.  These enhancements and Same Level of Service adjustments, were included in JPL’s FY2017 proposed budget to the Budget Office on time.

On June 14 the Mayor’s Budget review Committee met and discussed the Library Budget.  That meeting is chaired by the City’s Chief Administrative Offer, Sam Mousa, and staffed by various city financial and administrative personnel.  Board Chair Erin Skinner, Director Barabara Gubbin, and I represented JPL.  The Board Chair and Director fielded questions from the committee and the committee reviewed our enhancement list.  No decision was reached at the end of the meeting as to what would or would not be included in JPL’s FY2017 Budget.     

As a matter of record, the current FY2016 General Fund budget is $31,652,201.  The Budget Office recommended General Fund budget for FY2017 is $31,201,796 – a $450,405 reduction due to several internal service changes being reduced; no actual service level cuts were asked for.  This budget does include the additional $38,000 Same Level of Service adjustments spoken of earlier. Until the Mayor delivers the budget to City Council on July 18 we will not know what the Mayor has recommended for the FY2017 JPL funding level.

Mark Merritt
Deputy Director of Administration and Finance
Jacksonville Public Library