SHREVE -- The board of trustees listened to a review of "Levy 101" when Wayne County Auditor Jarra Underwood was a guest at the Wayne County Public Library meeting at the Shreve branch of the library on Monday evening, April 17.
Underwood wanted to make sure new trustees in particular had "a thorough understanding of how a levy works" in preparation for putting a new library levy on an upcoming ballot in place of an expiring one.
The most recent levy was a 1-mill, five-year renewal levy passed in November 2012.
Their first try on the ballot would be the 2017 general election, Underwood said, which would mean, "You would have to have everything done (in terms of paperwork) by 4 p.m. on Aug. 9."
The second and third opportunities, should the first one fail at the polls, would be "the primary next year and the general election next year."
Special elections are also a possibility, Underwood said, but not one she would recommend because of increased cost and other factors.
In terms of the levy itself, Underwood explained the library's options from a renewal to a replacement or a renewal with an increase.
For a packet of information Underwood distributed to trustees, she dug into the archives, coming up with a timeline of the library's ballot issues and success rate on each of them, in addition to a history of state funding of libraries in Ohio.
"It looks to me like (voters) support renewals," trustee Sandy Wenger said.
Although they don't have to choose a five-year levy, she told trustees, "five years seems to be what you've done."
Fiscal officer Katherine Long asked the board, "Are you leaning one way or another?"
Wenger recommended waiting for a "full board" in May in order to make a decision. Trustees Doug Drushal and Charles Brown were unable to attend Monday's meeting.
"Any way you look at it, we're going to be getting less money from the state," library Director Jennifer Shatzer said.
State funding has "dropped every year, every year, every year," Long said, confirming it with documentation in the packet of information.
"We have to make it up some other way," she said.
Long said she would talk to the library's attorney about some of the legal issues involved with the levy, bringing information back to the board as part of its discussion in May.
Nancy Fortune, manager of the Shreve branch of the library, gave the board an overview of activities taking place there, showing off a table full of crafts, which "go really, really well here," she said. "Animal programs and craft programs really go well here."
For a special program with the Bubble Lady held during spring break, "we had 87 (attendees)," Fortune said. A chocolate fountain in February attracted "almost 125."
Shatzer reviewed the library's assistance with library services, including delivery of materials, in Wooster City Schools and Triway Local Schools, but pointed out Shreve Elementary School has been taken off the list because of its "strong connection" with the Shreve library.
In other business, Shatzer discussed working with Main Street Wooster in creating an app to promote Main Street businesses and downtown events. It would be another method for highlighting library programs and could possibly be funded by a grant.
The library was selected to receive a State Library of Ohio Summer Reading Program to fund WAVE Foundation's bringing live penguins to Wayne County. WAVE on Wheels will make a presentation in July at the Wooster library and in August at the West Salem Branch and in Kidron and Mount Eaton, Shatzer said in her board report.
WAVE will be part of the library system's anniversary celebrations.
Reporter Linda Hall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-264-1125, ext. 2230. She is @lindahallTDR on Twitter.