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
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
Thank you for your patronage and support over the years!