Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Opinion

December 16, 2012

In Your View

(Continued)

ASHLAND — Libraries are far from being ghosts

There’s been a great deal written about State Auditor Adam Edelen’s report on special districts, most of it negative, or worse, conflicting. 

Libraries were referred to as “ghost governments.” This is just not the case. We’re overseen by the state librarian and Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives; we file budgets with county clerk and judge-executive offices; we submit annual budget reports to Department for Local Government; and we publish budgets in local papers. Our boards are appointed by county judge-executive and commissioners; we have annual audits; and all board meetings are open to the public.  

In fact, the state auditor’s report says as much.  “KDLA and Kentucky Public Library Association … put a great deal of effort to provide the public with as much transparency and accountability as possible. In addition, they have gone to great lengths to ensure their members have the training necessary to be able to provide these things.”

Boyd County Public Library is governed by a five-member board. Trustees are non-partisan and selected based on a commitment to providing the community with the cost-effective and useful services, staff, and programs possible.

Yes, The Library has the ability to tax, but only within strict state statutes. Yes, it has a reserve.  BCPL relies on outside entities to calculate rates, set property values and collect taxes, though revenue arrives five months into the fiscal year. There are repair, remodel and construction plans. By being fiscally responsible, BCPL has a reserve that allows these issues to be handled without borrowing money.

The library also has policies that govern operations, ethics and finances. Staff, supervisors and trustees have state certification.

BCPL’s board and staff spend our time making sure we do everything we can to be an ethical, efficient and economical part of the community.  

Debbie Cosper, Director, Boyd County Public Library

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