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Lisbon library cites increased circulation as it plans 10 percent budget increase

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LISBON — The Hepburn Library of Lisbon is planning to increase its budget by a little less than 10 percent for the 2014 fiscal year due to increased circulation and programing.

Library Director Michelle A. McLagan said the library is asking for $52,600, up from $48,000 in 2013.

But the increase, Ms. McLagan said, is reasonable in light of the growth the library has seen.

Since Ms. McLagan became director in 2010, the library has seen its patronage increase from 2,345 people in 2010 to 4,122 people in 2012.

Ms. McLagan did not have a year-to-date figure available for 2013.

Circulation has likewise increased, with 2,723 books, movies and magazines checked out in 2010 and 7,973 checked out in 2012.

Ms. McLagan said there are several reasons for the increased patronage but they all stem from an expanding commitment to community outreach.

Over the last three years the library has added children’s story time and family movie nights and has begun collaborating with Lisbon Central School and United Helpers to ensure people have access to information.

In particular, Ms. McLagan said the collaboration with the Lisbon Fun Reading of Good Stories (FROGS) groups has helped children become more aware of the library and how to utilize it.

“We’ve labeled all of our children’s books with little green frog stickers so they know which books count” for the FROGS program, Ms. McLagan said. “We’re trying to reach out.”

“It has really changed our children’s attendance,” she added, noting that the number of children that have visited the library has risen substantially over the last three years.

In 2010 the library saw a circulation of 609 children’s books and 350 kids’ movies. In 2012 the library moved 1,202 children’s books and 1,247 kids’ movies.

“That’s where a lot of our money is going,” Ms. McLagan said. “We’ve got to buy books for those kids or they’re not going to stick around. They need to read the current things, the things that are popular, and the things people are tweeting about.”

“We’re growing in Lisbon,” she said.

But Ms. McLagan said, the county is cutting its support for the library.

In 2012 the library received $4,452 from the county. This year they received nothing.

Ms. McLagan said the increase in their budget request was made to make up for the loss in county revenue.

Town budget officer William E. Dashnaw said the library will appear as a separate line item on Lisbon taxes.

“The library board sets their own budget,” Mr. Dashnaw said.

The Lisbon Town Council does not have the ability to change the library’s budget.

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