Freeholder Deputy Director Linda Hughes announced today that the Burlington County Library System has prepared a 2018 budget that cuts spending and holds the line on taxes, while maintaining and expanding the resources and programs provided by the eight branch and seven member libraries.
“For decades the Burlington County Library System has been a shining example of shared services with our municipalities, providing residents with an array of free programs, resources, and educational offerings,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Hughes, liaison to the county library system. “In keeping with our proud tradition of fiscal responsibility, I am pleased that we will once again cut government spending and continue to deliver all of the great services available at our libraries.”
Since 1921, the Burlington County Library System has served as a fundamental and accessible community resource for county residents. The library budget funds the main headquarters in Westampton and branches in Bordentown Township, Cinnaminson, Evesham, Maple Shade, Medford, Pemberton Township and Riverton, as well as the bookmobile.
The budget also supports member libraries located in Beverly, Burlington City, Crosswicks, Delanco, Florence, Riverside and Vincentown. Recognizing the equally important role member libraries play in their communities, the budget increases total member aid by nearly 17% compared to previous years. With this additional funding, they will be able to further expand their educational offerings and better accommodate the needs of residents.
“Year after year, we consistently find innovative ways to improve county services without asking our hardworking taxpayers to shoulder the costs,” continued Freeholder Deputy Director Hughes. “With libraries in convenient locations all across the county, there are endless opportunities available for adults and children of all ages to pursue their educational, cultural, and recreational interests.”
Last year, more than 1,500,000 items were checked out from the Burlington County Library System, and nearly 142,000 audiobooks, eBooks, and videos were downloaded. At the same time, county libraries hosted 4,464 programs, including Fall Friday Nights and Sundays on Stage performances, summer reading program for kids, a frequent workshop on business topics, and much more, with a total attendance of close to 100,000 people. One of the most popular offerings at the library is the museum pass program, which provides residents with the opportunity to visit many local attractions at no cost.
Looking ahead to the coming year, the library system plans to continue expanding their eBook collection and making renovations to library branches. Modern refurbishments have already been completed at the Bordentown Township and Maple Shade libraries.
The Freeholder Board plans to formally approve the proposed budget during their public meeting on Wednesday, May 23, 2018.