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Facilities Master Plan

Cuyahoga County Public Library

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, we have experienced extraordinary growth in usage despite significant reductions in state funding and property tax revenues – the library’s revenue was reduced by nearly $5 million in 2009 and nearly $9 million in 2010. Ohio is facing an estimated $8 billion budget deficit, and reduced funding and collections will likely continue into the future. To maintain the high-quality services our customers want and need, we must act now to maximize our limited resources and reduce operating costs.

Innovation

The Cuyahoga County Public Library Board of Trustees has adopted a long-term financial plan called CARE: A Library for the Future, which emphasizes Convenient, Accountable, Relevant and Effective library service. Supporting this is a Facilities Master Plan that will not require the library to ask taxpayers for additional funds; instead, CCPL has sold notes to raise approximately $75 million in capital funds at a favorable 3.79 percent interest rate. The plan includes 13 priority projects over three years: replacing four branches; relocating two branches under a new, more cost-efficient service model; renovating and expanding three branches; renovating three branching; and consolidating two branches in the same city into a central location. Replacing our costliest facilities to maintain and operate with more efficient one-story facilities will result in significant long-term savings. By transitioning to a new service model in library-dense areas, we can remain flexible for the future, save in everything from maintenance to landscaping to utilities, and still provide our customers with excellent service.

Progress

With a Facilities Master Plan, Cuyahoga County Public Library will see a decrease in salaries and benefits as new, more efficient branches allow us to reduce our workforce through attrition. The library materials budget will grow 22 percent over 10 years, during which we will save more than $10 million in our “rainy day fund.” When the Facilities Master Plan is completed, it will reduce our dependence on state funding and allow us to live within our 2.5 mill operating 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.