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Facilities Master Plan

Cuyahoga County Public Library
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Innovation Summary

The Library Board adopted a Facilities Master Plan to maintain high-quality services in a time of decreased state funding and property tax revenues. The plan consists of priority construction, relocation, consolidation and renovation projects that will help create equity of service and achieve long-term financial stability.

Innovation Leader: Tracy Strobel, Deputy Director, tstrobel@cuyahogalibrary.org

Problem Statement

Cuyahoga County Public Library has 28 branches that serve 47 communities. In recent years, the Library has experienced extraordinary growth in usage despite significant reductions in state funding and property tax revenues. To maintain the high-quality services customers want and need, the Library needed to act now to maximize limited resources and reduce operating costs.

Innovation

The Facilities Master Plan is part of a long-term financial plan, adopted in 2010 by the Cuyahoga County Public Library Board of Trustees, called CARE: A Library for the Future, which emphasizes Convenient, Accountable, Relevant and Effective library service. The Facilities Master Plan will not require the Library to ask taxpayers for additional funds. The Library has sold bonds (or “notes”) to raise capital funds. The Facilities Master Plan consists of priority construction, relocation, consolidation and renovation projects totaling $100 million. The plan is the single largest investment the Library has made in its history and demonstrates a strong commitment to maintaining excellent library service for all county residents. The plan will: • Build new facilities that are much more energy efficient, cost-effective and accessible, saving the Library more than $4 million a year by reducing operating and maintenance costs. • Reduce dependence on state funding without adding to the local property tax burden. • Focus operating dollars on long-term viability and excellent customer service rather than building maintenance and energy costs. • Establish equity of service throughout the entire district. • Increase capacity to meet a growing demand for collection materials and services. • Enhance community revitalization efforts.

Progress

The first priority project in the Facilities Master Plan, construction of the new Warrensville Heights Branch, is complete. The branch opens April 21, 2012. Renovations at several branches have been completed or are under way, and the Library will soon break ground on other new construction projects. With a Facilities Master Plan, Cuyahoga County Public Library will see a decrease in salaries and benefits as new, more efficient branches allow the Library to reduce its workforce through attrition. The materials budget will grow 22 percent over 10 years, during which the system will save more than $10 million. When the Facilities Master Plan is completed, it will reduce dependence on state funding and allow the Library to live within its existing tax levy. The Facilities Master Plan project is a long-term investment in innovation that will help ensure customers have access to world-class library services, now and into the future.