Jefferson County Library OKs budget, prepares for construction

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PORT HADLOCK — The Jefferson County Library board has adopted a $1,805,825 operating budget for 2013 and is making plans for the beginning of remodeling work.

A property tax on district residents finances about $1.6 million of the library’s budget, with the balance derived from assessments on private and Department of Natural Resources timberland, interest and other miscellaneous income, said Ray Serebrin, library director, after the board approved the budget Wednesday.

The library did not take a
1 percent property tax increase for 2013, Serebrin said, because the library district will hit its taxing limit in 2013.

Property owners will be taxed 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed value — which means an annual tax of about $100 for property assessed at $200,000.

The revenue to the library district will be less than this year because assessments have gone down, Serebrin said, adding that some property owners will pay less tax than last year.

“We are going to get about $42,000 less in 2013 than we did in 2012,” Serebrin said.

When 2013 begins, the contents of the library at 620 Cedar Ave., in Port Hadlock will be housed in temporary quarters while the building itself undergoes a $700,000 renovation.

“Our library is in a period of intense growth and high demand for its services,” Serebrin said.

“We will begin the new year in the midst of a remodel that will help us respond to that growth.”

The last day the library will be open this year is Dec. 2. It will close Dec. 3 and then reopen Dec. 17 at 51 Colwell St., in Port Hadlock, which is across from Circle and Square Auto Care on Rhody Drive.

The 5,000-square-foot temporary location is less than half the size of the current building, so it will be a bare-bones operation with no wireless service and a smaller selection of materials, though patrons will be able to order items from the main collection.

The library materials are expected to be back in place at a remodeled facility by June 1, Serebrin said.

Design development is complete, construction bids have been received and the library board will consider awarding a construction bid at 3 p.m. Monday, Serebrin said.

The board will conduct a special meeting in the Shold Room at the library to consider bids it has received for the work, he said.

The remodel is being funded with community donations and $300,000 from library capital reserves.

“The new improved library will provide redesigned seating and lounge space to reduce crowding; improved layout of public areas to ease congestion; more computer workstations to meet rising demand; new shelving and storage to house materials more effectively and upgraded display of materials, to make things easier to find,” Serebrin said.

Improved lighting and signage, self-service technology and new carpeting and paint also are planned.

Nearly 500 square feet will be added.

Among services to be continued next year are access to computers and information for job seekers, homework and reading tutoring for children, reading readiness programs to help parents prepare their pre-schoolers for school and instruction and access to new information tools for all patrons.

The library will continue the Cooperative Libraries Automated Network — or CLAN — partnership with its four clients — Port Townsend Public Library, Port Townsend School District and the Quilcene and Brinnon school libraries — which provides more than 180,000 items to Jefferson County residents.

The library — which offers lectures, author events and DVDs as well as books — plans to enhance such high-demand collections as the eBook and Playaway audiobook formats.

Kindles and other eReaders will be available for loan, as well.

“The library is fiscally sound, our budget is in balance and we are saving for future needs,” Board Chairman Tom Riggs said.

“This budget is designed to keep the good work flowing and to prepare us for a creative and productive future.”

The library will employ 10 full-time and 10 part-time staff, two hourly employees and four high school students in 2013.

There will be a 2 percent cost of living allowance for staff in 2013.

The library is open 58 hours a week and the bookmobile is on the road five days a week, including Saturdays, serving eight outlying communities and school locations.

Library service for patrons who live in the West end of the county is provided through contracts and reciprocal agreements with neighboring library districts.

The Jefferson County Library District serves more than 20,000 residents in the rural county.

For more information, phone the Jefferson County Library at 360-385-6544, or visit

Last modified: November 18. 2012 6:12PM
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