Residents of the Barker Central School District were invited to attend a public meeting at the Barker Fire Hall, 1660 Quaker Road, on Wednesday, March 27 at 7 p.m. to hear a presentation about the proposed library vote to allow the Barker Free Library to become a school district public library that will be held May 21.
A meeting notice from Roy Anderson, President of the Board of Trustees of the Barker Free Library, was mailed to all district residents in mid-March. At the March 27 meeting, Anderson provided details about the vote that proposes to transition the Barker Free Library to a public school district library.
The Barker Free Library Board of Trustees has decided to pursue becoming a school district public library in order to stabilize its funding and provide elected representation to the taxpayers. Barker is not alone in this effort. In fact, the New York State Board of Regents urges libraries like Barker to become districts in order to shift tax support from their local municipalities to a direct public vote.
“This type of community-based funding is the only way to provide a reliable source of operating income for the library,” says Anderson.Currently, the Barker School District, the residents in the Village of Barker, Town of Somerset and portions of the Town of Hartland have supported the library through taxes they paid along with donations and fundraising efforts of groups like the Friends of the Library. “The Barker Free Library has had significant increases in circulation and patron visits over the past several years while experiencing funding shortfalls,” says Anderson.
“The Board recognizes that libraries, like school systems and hospitals, are essential community resources. Businesses and homeowners look closely at these resources when they make decisions about where to locate. A good library attracts people to our community and enhances our quality of life. With community-based funding, our library will be able to continue to provide everyone the opportunity for life-long learning and public access to the latest technologies for years to come.”
The Board of Trustees also plans to hold small one-on-one meetings for district residents at the library, 8706 Main Street in Barker on Saturday, April 13 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Tuesday, April 16 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday, April 19 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Anyone can come to ask questions of the Board members at these informal meetings.
In addition, there will be group presentations at various local clubs and organizations, as well as in newspaper articles and legal notices about the vote that will take place at the same time and place as the Barker High School District’s budget vote on May 21, 2013. Information about the meetings and the upcoming the vote will also be posted on the library’s website at www.BarkerFreeLibrary.com.
“We encourage residents to attend our March 27 meeting to get the facts and to ask questions. We want to make sure that everyone in the school district is well informed,” says Board President Roy Anderson.
Residents with questions prior to the public meeting can contact Anderson at 795-3987.
8706 Main Street
Barker, New York 14012
Phone: (716) 795-3344