June 29, 2009
The Trustees and staff of Forbes Library are grateful to the voters of Northampton who passed the override. Director Janet Moulding said that the library will still have to make cuts in services for FY10 because of reductions in the library's income, but because of funds from the override, those cuts will be much less severe.
Because of reduced income from the city appropriation and state aid, the library will spend less for books, DVDs and library supplies. The only reduction in hours will be that the library will close on Saturdays this summer from July 4th through September 5th. The library will resume its current hours after Labor Day. "We are sorry to inconvenience any of our patrons because we know how important library services are to Northampton, especially in tough economic times. Our usage has increased by 20% since July 2008! We are hoping the economy will improve in the next couple of years, so Forbes can resume summer Saturdays and ideally increase hours in the future," said Moulding.
Funds from the override have also enabled Forbes to keep its state certification which entitles the library to state aid, grant eligibility and, most importantly, interlibrary loan privileges. Said Moulding, "Without certification, residents of Northampton could not request books and videos from other libraries through interlibrary loan. We couldn't even go to another library and check out materials. Without certification, Northampton would become isolated from the whole library consortium." Because of the override, Forbes will also be able to keep the Hampshire Room for Local History and the Calvin Coolidge Museum open for limited hours each week. "We are relieved that we won't have to turn away historians and genealogists. Our collections are essential to many people's research," said Moulding.
Starting July 4th, Forbes will be open from 9:00 to 9:00 on Mondays and Wednesdays, from 1:00 to 5:00 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and from 9:00 to 5:00 on Fridays. The library will be closed Saturdays and Sundays until Labor Day.