MILLERSBURG -- Holmes County Public Library Fiscal Officer Paula Cicconetti presented a year-end review of finances, with a PowerPoint presentation to the board on Thursday, Feb. 16, looking at income and spending at the library, comparing the past year (2016) to 2015.
Cicconetti is pleased with the fact that the library has been able to withstand all the funding cuts it has been dealt since 2009, but she is still cautious because the one major funding source for the Holmes County Public Library, the state of Ohio's Public Library Fund is rather volatile.
"There has been the fear or concern that legislators will say all these (other) libraries are able to raise money at the local level, we don't think there's the need to provide this much funding at the state level," Cicconetti said. "We're one of the 20, 25 percent of libraries that do not have a levy. All the other ones do. It's definitely cause for concern, having only one funding source. Most libraries have another revenue stream coming in."
She just hopes the state never cuts funding.
"Salaries are the major expense for the library, and that's the nature of our business," she said. "We spend about 90 percent of what's budgeted. I'm pleased with that number. Overall, I'm pretty pleased with how we've been spending within our revenues for the year.
"I feel we have recovered from the funding cuts we received in 2009," Cicconetti continued. "We've been gaining a lot of ground. Our savings is getting built up again. All this is good."
"There is this one caveat. We rely primarily on one funding source. We're pretty dependent on that PLF," Cicconetti said. "It's tied to the economy. So when times are good, things are good. But in bad times, that's when our funding tends to get cut. And, it seems donations follow that same pattern. People tend to donate more when things are good. When times are tight, it's hard to get donations.
"Costs are always on the rise," she continued. We're doing good, but we still have these other issues."
"It's good to see that history every now and then," said Board President Tom Yoder. "It kind of gives us some perspective."
Cicconetti said budgeting is a real challenge, but she believes the library is doing well in spite of the constraints.
"I started here in 2009, when everything was bad," Cicconetti said. "Now almost 10 years later, I'm still showing all this and talking about what got cut, and branches closing and everything. I think it helps to understand why we are where we are today."
Reporter Kevin Lynch can be reached at 330-674-5676 or firstname.lastname@example.org.