By Mike Moffat
Things aren’t looking good for the DeWitt library, as they are in panic mode and on the verge of being closed. They have tried many things such as cutting the staff and hours, but those measures haven’t solved their current state.
“We are underfunded and undersized,” said Jenifer Balcom, the DeWitt Library director. “The average budget for a library is $1.6 million, and ours is at only half of a million.”
The size of the library is also a problem. The average size of a library is 26,000 square feet, while the DeWitt library is only 6,400 square feet.
“A lot of people are worried about economic times,” said Helen Davis, the reference manager for the DeWitt Library. “It also doesn’t help when there aren’t a lot of young children in the area.”
The only hope left for this library is a millage proposal later in 2014. This is the third one they have asked for since 2008, with this the second time asking for an increase in mils toward operation.
“We plan on proposing another millage asking for $500,000 this August,” said Paul Perpich, DeWitt Library Board president. “But, if that doesn’t pass, it looks like we’ll be closing by the end of 2014.”
Even though the library is gets funds from taxes, these have decreased, which doesn’t help the library’s case to get more money. But, before this millage proposal happens, the library wants to get input from residents.
“The only way the citizens could help us is help answer the survey we gave them so we can figure out what they want out of us,” said Youth Services Librarian Mindy Schafer. “Hopefully they can see this library as more than just a place to go for books.”
For questions or comments, contact Mike Moffat at email@example.com