(22 Total References)
Mindy Hackner, Children's ...
Mindy Hackner, Children's Librarian & Webmaster Email:email@example.com
"In 2014 we're working on a ...
"In 2014 we're working on a 2006 budget," Library Director Mindy Hackner Hackner told the Eagle after a recent board of trustees meeting.
"We've lost staff since that time, too."
and the board met this month to discuss ways to continue providing services to the hundreds of city residents who use the three-story library daily - with only five full-time and six part-time employees.
With no money to spare in the budget, it may begin to look for outside volunteers to help with tasks like checking out books, she
Last winter, the library had to close about a half-dozen times as temperatures inside plummeted to as low as 40 degrees, Hackner
That's manageable, Hackner
said, but problems arise when one employee is on vacation and another is sick, for example.
"That's where the shortfall happens, when there are those unexpected, but normal [staffing problems]," Hackner
The staffing level - even during a daily lunch - can make it difficult for library employees to help patrons with things like using the public computer, according to Hackner
, who was brought on as the new director in March.
Between 200 and 300 people use the library every day.
"It's sometimes so unpredictable that I'm taken away from a meeting I might have or some financial reports that I might be working on," she
It's very kind of disruptive, because it's unplanned."
A volunteer system to work the front desk is being explored, but Hackner
said trying to count on volunteers on a regular basis presents new challenges.
Volunteers would have to be trained and may not be able to make it in on short notice, for example.
"Their hearts are in the right place," she
said, "but often we'll spend a lot of time training them, and then something comes up."
also plans to reach out to other libraries, specifically at local schools, for additional assistance in 2015.
said, those libraries may well be facing the same issues, have different hours, and different bodies of the public to serve.
Though the state tends to be understanding and has routinely allowed the North Adams Public Library
an exemption, Hackner
said it's always a concern.
"That's always in the background, a really big worry," Hackner
"[The library] would lose the circulation system, lose interlibrary loan, lose the cooperative where we buy our books, and may lose Mass Broadband high speed internet - so much relies on membership in that collective."
The mayor said he's
willing to look for room in the city's fiscal 2016 budget to provide additional part-time staff for the library, but he
isn't making any promises as the city likely faces another budget shortfall, adding that "staffing, while problematic, I feel is adequate."
Although vocal about challenges the library faces, Hackner
credits the city administration for "bending over backward to try to help."
This week, Commissioner of Public ...
This week, Commissioner of Public Services Timothy Lescarbeau also described millions of dollars in infrastructure upgrades the city needs but is delaying, while North Adams Public Library Director Mindy Hackner said further cuts could cause the library to lose its certification and reduce its hours.
Library Director Mindy Hackner echoed many of Lescarbeau's funding concerns, saying that the city has already underfunded its library for at least seven years according to state formula.
Under the mayor's "worst-case scenario," the library budget would take a 10 percent cut, likely close on Fridays, and lose four of its six part-time employees.
"In the face of all of this, morale decreases, while we're being asked to increase our services," Hackner
Since it's underfunded -- the library budget accounts for only 0.76 percent of the city's spending, well below the state average of 1.3 percent -- the state's Board of Library Commissioners
must grant the library a waiver to retain its certification.
That waiver is not guaranteed, and Hackner
warned the council that "you're playing with fire.
If the library lost certification, its patrons would lose access to inter-library loaning and databases, and the library would lose eligibility for state grants.
With its $296,751 budget in fiscal 2014, the library circulated 120,000 items to its 8,300 registered users.
Its five full-time and 6 part-time employees serve between 200 and 300 people every day.
"We're a democratic institution, we're designed to meet the needs of your community, and we serve every member of the community from birth through death," Hackner
argued that the comparison to police and fire was unfair.
"It's a different kind of service," she
Mindy Hackner is settling in as the North Adams library's new director.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. - The historic North Adams Public Library has a new director.
But she's not new to North Berkshire.
Mindy Hackner worked at the David and Joyce Milne Public Library in Williamstown for nearly 18 years,
New Library Director Mindy ...
New Library Director Mindy Hackner told the trustees last week that fundraising over the past year combined with a donation match from the Hunter family with the city has allowed the painting to remain in the library.
The machine the girl is working at was produced by the James Hunter Machine Co.
In other business, Hackner
advocated for changing job descriptions to more realistically reflect the responsibilities and experience of the staff, including Robin Martin, who had filled as interim director for nearly nine months.
"I really would like Robin to be the associate director," said Hackner.
said the mayor was aware the other salaries are low.
"We all understand how pressed things are," she
"We will have low morale if we don't keep advocating," Hackner
"People you have working here deserve whatever you can do for them."
In other business:
said an individual had come forward to possibly donate a laptop that would allow people to come to the library to watch TED talks.
• The Historical Society
is looking to use some of the space in the library to store items as it will have to move out of Western Gateway Heritage State Park.
said room could be cleared in the basement and the city is going to finish a third-floor room.