Many corporations are getting creative about how they spend or raise money as budgets continue to be slashed, and the Gwinnett County Public Library system is no exception. In a county budget meeting in mid-September, GCPL Director Nancy Stanbery-Kellam and Board Chairman Philip Saxton announced their plans to both cut library spending and raise “non-tax” revenue.
The library system’s county budget has been reduced by about $2.8 million, or about 15 percent of its budget, the representatives explained.
To cut spending, Stanbery-Kellam announced a reduction in days and hours the system’s branches would be open. Each of the GCPL’s 15 branches is currently open seven days a week for a total of 53 hours weekly.
Stanbery-Kellam plans to reduce that to 40 hours a week by closing branches two days a week. There is no word yet on what those schedule changes will be, or if each branch will be closed on the same two days. By closing every branch for a few days a week, Saxton said the GCPL would not lose any branches.
Saxton also announced his ideas for raising revenue outside of tax funding.
One of those ideas involves selling ad space in the library through coupons, bookmarks, or bookshelves. He hopes to generate $1.2 million through the ad revenue.
Saxton also plans to launch a “Love Your Library” campaign to seek donations from the community, with a campaign goal of $1 million.