Monday, April 13, 2009

A New WRapper & Other Changes for WMRLS

A New WRapper & Other Changes for WMRLS

With fewer WMRLS staff and State budget reductions expected for the fiscal year that starts July 1, WMRLS is taking some actions now to put us in a better position to confront tougher times ahead.

The first change is a complete revision of our WRapper newsletter. This publication will be much more concise, thus requiring less paper, staff time, and mailing costs. One copy of the print edition will be issued to each member library. WRapper will now be published on a quarterly basis.

WRapper will continue to be published online. From now on, WRapper will highlight some key developments, but will always remind our readers that recent happenings at our member libraries can be found on our WMRLS-One- Blog.

The WMRLS-One-Blog provides time-sensitive information that the print edition of WRapper cannot achieve. With a large number of our member libraries having gained better Internet access, the time seems right to pursue a more online approach to disseminating important information in a timely way.

Likely Suspension of Bookmobile Service. With yet another large budget cut looming, WMRLS will almost definitely have to suspend our beloved bookmobile service for FY10. This program has been bringing browsing collections to the shelves of small public libraries since the 1940s. The WMRLS materials budget has been inadequate, in some years non-existent, since the devastating 24% State budget cut of FY03.

The initial version of the FY10 budget brings us back down to that same funding level. At the same time, libraries and their users have been making breathtaking use of our delivery service, which has been transporting materials between libraries at all-time record levels. Even with a new way of counting delivery totals, we should surpass 2 million items delivered in FY09! This service, with the cost of gasoline fluctuating wildly, and the age of our trucks rising, is requiring more and more of our budget and staff resources.

A Proud Tradition of Service! Despite the need for retrenchment in some areas and possible layoffs, we at WMRLS will do everything we can to provide our member libraries with the excellent and responsive service they have come to expect of us since 1961. We will keep offering important continuing education programs – some online – to keep you up to date on your skills and what is involved in running libraries today. We will give you plenty of opportunities to get together to talk about common interests and collaborations, to “keep the fire burning” in our hearts and minds. We will help you if you have a local issue that you are confronting. We will track down hard-to-find titles that you could not locate through the online catalogs of other Massachusetts libraries. In short, we will do everything we can to fulfill the WMRLS motto, “Libraries – Cooperating, Communicating, Sharing.”

~ John Ramsay, Regional Administrator, WMRLS

Our Spring issue of WRapper features:
  • Continuing Education Updates
  • Member Library Updates via our WMRLS-One-Blog
  • WMRLS Staff Directory & Phone Extensions
  • MLA in Springfield!

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