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Lisbon library cites increased circulation as it plans 10 percent budget increase

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LISBON - The Hepburn Library of Lisbon is planning on increasing its budget by just under 10 percent for the 2014 fiscal year due to increased circulation and programing.

Library Director Michelle A. McLagan said the library is asking for $52,600, up from $48,000 in 2013.

But the increase, Ms. McLagan said, is reasonable if you observe the growth the library has seen.

Since Ms. McLagan became director of the library in 2010 the library has seen its patronage rise from 2,345 people in 2010 to 4,122 people in 2012.

Ms. McLagan does not have a year to date figure available for 2013.

Circulation has likewise increased with 2,723 books, movies and magazines being checked out in 2010 and 7,973 checked out in 2012.

Ms. McLagan said there are several reasons for the increased patronage but they all stem back to a commitment to community outreach.

Over the last three years the library has added children’s story time, family movie nights on the fourth Monday of every month and has begun collaborating with Lisbon Central School and United Helpers to ensure people have access to information.

In particular Ms. McLagan said the collaboration with the Lisbon Fun Reading of Good Stories (FROGS) groups has helped make kids more aware of the library and how to utilize it.

“We’ve labeled all of our children’s books with little green frog stickers so they know which books count [for the FROGS program],” Ms. McLagan said. “We’re trying to reach out.”

“Between all of that, it has really changed our children’s attendance,” she added.

The past three years has seen, in particular, the number of children visiting the library rise substantially.

In 2010 the library circulated 609 children’s books and 350 kid’s movies. In 2012 the library moved 1,202 children’s books and 1,247 kid’s movies.

“That’s where a lot of our money is going,” Ms. McLagan said. “We’ve got to buy books for those kids or they’re not going to stick around. They need to read the current things, the things that are popular, and the things people are tweeting about.”

“We’re growing in Lisbon,” she said.

On top of that Ms. McLagan said the county is cutting its support of the library.

In 2012 the library received $4,452 from the county. This year they received nothing.

Ms. McLagan said the increase in their budget was made to make up for the loss in county revenue.

Town budget officer William E. Dashnaw said the library will appear as a separate line item on Lisbon taxes.

“The Library Board sets their own budget,” Mr. Dashnaw said. The Lisbon Town Council is not able to change the library’s budget.

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