Library Board Approves Annual Plan


Finances Under Budget

In their monthly meeting Tuesday evening, the Board of Directors of the Beach Library approved a 10-point Annual Plan for 2017-2018. Board members attending the meeting were Chair Sallie Seabury, Treasurer Miffie Greer, Mark LaFave Secretary, Rick Sebastian, Debbie Whitehead and Ed Scott. George Ballantyne was absent.

They also approved the transfer of $82,000 from other budget line items into the Plant and Equipment category to cover the recent repair of one of the building’s chillers. $43,000 was moved from contractual services, $10,000 from insurance and $29,000 from professional data/e-books. The transfers are part of the 2016-2017 budget and do not change the budget totals.

Prior to the approval of those transfers, the September 2017 financial statement for the library’s budget for the October 2016 – September 2017 fiscal year shared with board members, showed a total income of $1,374,539 or 7% over budget, primarily due to increased state aid, donations and interest. The Beach Library received over $37,400 in donations in the past year.

The reserves have not yet been applied according to the budget figures presented to board members this week. They are budgeted at a total of $176,973 for Building Replacement, Catastrophe Fund, Equipment Capital Reserve and Total Solar. If they are applied as per the 2016-2017 budget, the preliminary figures for total October 2016 – September 2017 expenses for the Beach Library would be $1,003,362 or 29% under budget ($371,177).

Broken down by budget category, the library spent well under their budget in every category. There are often additional adjustments made after the fiscal year, so these figures are considered preliminary. Administrative Expenses for the year totaled $53,096, 36% under the budgeted $82,820. Capital Outlay was just $82,951 or 12% under budget. Plant & Equipment Expenditures were 14% under budget. Library Expenditures and Payroll were both about 30% under budget. Over the course of the past year, the library has had open budgeted positions including an electronics librarian that was recently filled.

The board approved an auditor committee that selects the auditor and addresses audit-related questions. Library Director Leroy Hommerding explained that they have been using an audit committee, but the board needed to officially read their approval into the minutes. Previous audit reports for the Beach Library can be found online at

2017-2018 Goals

The Beach Library’s Annual Plan for 2017-2018, which was approved unanimously, includes ten goals.

Goal 1 relates to the use of e-books and includes the addition of a reading area in the Large Print and Mystery/Fiction areas.

Goal 2 focuses on assessing the feasibility of a Solar Thermodynamic System, with a plan to evaluate if the library is ready to move to Total Solar in 2019.

Goal 3 seeks to encourage Community Room programs and offer digital classes.

Goal 4 would increase awareness and use of Internet access, databases and catalogs.

Goal 5 continues children’s programming with Dog Day, Preschool Story Hour and the Summer Reading Program.

Goal 6 focuses on library displays, including local artists’ work in the 3rd floor Commons and continues the puzzle program.

Goal 7 would provide information on cultural and social trends and focus on patron inquiries.

Goal 8 seeks to provide materials and information for self-directed learning and community involvement.

Goal 9 continues the library’s membership in the Southwest Florida Library Network consortium sharing resources and staff training opportunities.

Goal 10 provides for the development of a long-term plan for the Board of Directors and includes the designation of a deputy director if needed, the hiring of an assistant for the Library Director and updating the severe weather manual.

During the Director Comment period, Ed Scott raised a question about the library’s effort to save enough money to self-insure saying, “It’s going to be 25 years before we reach the amount we need.” Board discussion followed with Library Director Leroy Hommerding encouraging the board to think about the topic. “These are conversations we should have before our next budget session.”


Missy Layfield