Library may pull out of Wheeler
Tracy B. Cieniewicz, Hartselle Enquirer
City officials are considering the possibility of running Hartselle Public Library without the Wheeler Basin Library system.
HPL Director Emily Love said when she approached the new mayor and council several weeks ago about the library's budget and to request additional funding for updated materials, the council suggested looking into pulling out of Wheeler Basin.
"This fiscal year, it will cost approximately $28,000 for Hartselle to be a part of Wheeler," Love explained. "The council thought it would be a good idea to see what it would take for us to keep that money in Hartselle."
While the idea is still in the research phase, Love anticipates such a change would benefit the library and the community.
"We could use the money saved to replace older research materials with newer ones, expand our current book selection, expand hours of operation, offer more services and events, and work closely with the council to make the library the best it can be," Love said.
According to Love, the library began closing on Saturdays and cancelled its weekly cleaning service three years ago when funding was leveled for the library's budget. Reopening the library on weekends is of major interest to the council, Love said.
"The entire council and Mayor Dwight Tankersley have been extremely interested and helpful with the library. It's so nice to have so much support from our city leaders."
If the library does pull out of the Wheeler Basin system, Love anticipates few problems with the transition for employees or patrons.
"The largest drawback would be that we could no longer borrow books from the other Wheeler libraries," Love explained. "But, with the money we'll save, our selection will be larger and hopefully eliminate any problem with book availability."
Other changes would include the library paying its own payroll and utilities, as well as cataloging its own books. However, Love said the extra cataloging work should be a quicker process if done in-house.
"There are definitely more positives than negatives," Love said.
Wheeler Basin requires HPL to officially notify them of any contract change by July 1.