2012 Budget Information
At their regular October 2011 meeting the Board of Trustees approved the 2012 Library budget .
What's the bottom line for you, the taxpayer?
The Library has made minimal increases in its levy over the past several years. Last year the levy decreased. This conservative approach is not possible this year as we face increased demand for our services and the need to invest in our physical and technological infrastructure. The bottom line for the taxpayers is a levy increase of 6.53% to support the 2012 budget.
How will the money in the 2012 budget be used?
Library facilities: Hours that meet the needs of the community; prudent, sustained investment in infrastructure; excellent stewardship of past community investment in library facilities
- Add Sunday hours at the branch libraries
- Create an Idea Box in the former café at the Main Library
- Maintain aging buildings appropriately
- Fix flooding problems at the Maze Branch Library
- Replace and upgrade building software systems at the Main Library
- Renovate middle school and teen spaces at the Main Library
- Engage with the community about these changes
Technology: Prepare for the future role of the library in Oak Park
- Provide new and additional computers (laptops, Macs, etc.)
- Increase internet bandwidth
- Expand and upgrade self checkout system
- Enhance virtual services available 24/7
- Digitize local history and special collection resources so that they are easily available to the Oak Park community and scholars everywhere
Collections: Provide Oak Park residents with a vibrant, up-to-date collection in a variety of formats that meets their needs
- Make materials easier to find in response to the changing ways that customers use libraries
- Add materials in new formats (ex., e-content, blu ray, games)
- Evaluate effects of SWAN consortium and realign spending priorities appropriately
Marketing and communications: Engage with the community about what it wants and needs from the library
- Reach out to community members to find out what services and resources they need
- Engage the community to envision the future of the library and create new strategic plan
- Offer more varied programs in response to our diverse community
Staff: Attract, retain, and engage an expert staff that can help library customer with all their needs
- Assist customers with traditional services, new ideas and resources, and cutting edge technology
- Be nimble in responding to changing needs and new ideas
- Reach out to the community through school visits, home delivery, book discussions, active agers events, teen volunteer programs, etc.
- Reflect the diversity of our community
Oak Park Public Library is a leader in our Village
- Engage the community around the future role of our library
- Provide leadership in collaborating with other agencies to address the digital divide and achievement gap
- Lead the Digitally Inclusive Community initiative
- Collaborate with other agencies to share costs, provide enhanced services
Added Value to the Community:
Named 4 Star Library and Second in the State
Oak Park Public Library received four stars in Library Journal's national rating of public libraries. Our outstanding service to the community earned us second place in the state within our category. This distinction is measured by visits to our buildings, circulation of our collections, participation in our programs, and use of our technology. We are delighted that our community was honored in this way!
Oak Park loves its library
Ask Oak Parkers why they love the library and you will hear a huge variety of reasons. We serve as a community gathering place, as a technology access point, and a resource for lifelong learning and enjoyment. Last summer we captured some of the love on video. Hear what your neighbors and friends have to say .
Increase in library usage
Oak Park Public Library continues to be a busy place, serving many people in many ways. Our numbers - visits, items borrowed, program attendance, computer usage - all continue to increase.
Return on investment
Library cards are free to Oak Park residents and material may be borrowed for free. Many services and programs can be enjoyed for free without a library card. Tax-payer dollars support these valuable services and ensure that they are available to all. How much would the services of your public library cost if you had to pay for them directly? Use a simple calculator  to estimate the value of your Library use.
We'll be here in 2012 and beyond
Because the world is constantly changing, we're challenging our staff to learn and innovate new ways of meeting your changing needs. And we need you, Oak Park, to help us create that future. We want to engage your talents, experiment, and meet your expectations. Join one of our community conversations about the future of the library. Find details and inspiration here .
Learn more about our 2013 budget.