Letter to Bookmobile Patrons

PLEASE NOTE: The Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System bookmobile service was discontinued at the end of 2011. Please call 563-5190 with any questions.

August 29, 2011

Dear Patrons:

It is with regret that the CEFLS Board of Trustees announces that the bookmobile will be retired from service at the end of 2011. We realize that the timing of this is especially difficult when two local book stores are closing. It’s obvious that libraries need more help than ever, and that local readers will be hurting! The System has operated one or more bookmobiles since 1956 and bookmobile service has been an integral part of our identity throughout the years. Deep and ongoing state aid based budget shortfalls are responsible for this decision, which was a hard one to make.

The fact that this decision had to be made brings home the budget realities that libraries have been facing for the past decade, during which library state aid funding has been cut six times. However, despite the fact that we have done everything we could, including not filling two staff positions and slashing our materials budget each year, we are faced with no alternative. The numbers pretty much say it all. We have lost approximately 1/5 of our funding (21.75%) since 2007 and operational costs continue to rise at a rate that we cannot keep pace with.

CEFLS staff will be working throughout the fall to manage the impact that this shift in services will have on patrons. Possible scenarios might be to distribute books to senior centers in a different way, or to explore the costs associated with a modified books by mail service.

We expect to circulate materials to you until late fall and will keep you posted via flyers, Facebook and this web page as our plans progress. If you would like to express your thoughts about bookmobile service, a page will be soon be operational on our web site (www.cefls.org). Although we have been assured that there is no additional state aid money that can come our way in time to reverse this decision, you might want to contact your state and local representatives as a resident of a region where access to books and information is taking several steps backwards. Their contact information appears below.

Thank you for your patronage and support over the years!


WWW cefls.org