Other cost increases include electricity, telephone and insurance, which total another $7,500. In a large budget, those numbers are small, but Chiofalo stressed that the library needs every penny it can find.
“In the future, it’s only going to get more difficult,” she said. “And I don’t want to sound all doom and gloom, but the fact is, there is no fat in this budget. None at all. If we have another year with only 2 percent increases [in spending on materials], we’re going to have to start to get to the bone.”
Despite the library’s woes, however, Chiofalo reported that it has actually seen an increase in membership over the past year. “We’re busier than we’ve ever been,” she said. “People come here more and more and more. The library itself is not dying. It’s just that its uses are changing.”
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