Town Meeting voters casting ballots in the March 20 secret-ballot election will note three interesting developments regarding the Belgrade Public Library’s budget.
One, the proposed budget remains completely flat at $82,094 from 2019 to 2020. The Library Board of Trustees and Library Director Megan Aube worked diligently to ensure no proposed increase in overall cost from last year to this. Two, actual expenditures in 2019 were about $23,000 less than budgeted. This is directly attributable to the library being without a director for almost five months. Additionally, the current director was hired at a lesser salary than her more experienced predecessor. Three, the amount of taxes proposed to support the library has been decreased by that same $23,000 – from $82,000 to $59,000. The unexpended funds from the 2019 budget are being applied to the 2020 budget in an effort to reduce the cost for taxpayers.
Anyone with questions about the budget can contact Town Manager Anthony Wilson at his office at 207-495-2258, on his cell at 207-592-6031, or at email@example.com.
The Trustees welcomed new Library Director Megan Aube in April 2019 after an extensive search. An Augusta native, Megan holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Southern Maine and a master’s degree in library and information science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She gained valuable professional experience from employment in libraries in Portland, Biddeford and Auburn. Bringing a youthful perspective to the position, Megan is working to increase the library’s online presence and to develop programs that appeal to patrons of all ages, including a book delivery service for homebound residents facilitated by Neighbors Driving Neighbors.
Library Assistant Jared Bond staffed the library singlehandedly during our nearly three-month hiatus without a library director. We are grateful to Jared for keeping the library open on its 30-hour weekly schedule and to the trustees and friends who voluntarily provided backup. Thanks also to Sandra Fowler, our most dedicated volunteer, who leads the Thursday morning story hour, tying in a creative craft project with the book she selects weekly for her young audience.
Library Trustees worked throughout the winter to plan a busy schedule of summer programs for children and adults. From trucks to telescopes, genealogy to mysteries, there was a program to suit every age and interest. These programs, like many of our book acquisitions, are made possible by donations from generous Belgrade residents. We deeply appreciate the contributions that allow us to enhance our collection and programs.
The Trustees and staff look forward to continuing to provide valuable services to residents and visitors alike through our collection, inter-library loans, information services, and programs. Stop by 124 Depot Road for a book, magazine, DVD, or an interesting presentation. Library hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. The Library Trustees are grateful to the Town of Belgrade for the ongoing support that has made the Belgrade Public Library one of the gems of our community.
Barbara Allen, Chairwoman