Paris Public Library seeking more funding

In a Budget Committee meeting held on May 1, a discussion of staffing costs and the nature of library specialization may save the jobs of three part-time workers in Maine.

Though the Paris, ME, 2008 budget calls for no change to the 2007 library budget of $145,698, the library has requested an increase of $10,641. At the final public hearing of the Paris Budget Committee, library employee Mike Dignan argued that the budget increase is necessary to fund collections purchasing and staffing.

If the Paris Public Library does not receive its requested budget increase, says Dignan, the library may cut “a person and a half” from the five part-time staff positions and reduce hours. Dignan is the sole full-time worker at the Paris Public Library.

Responding to suggestions that the town’s library needs are served by the local school media centers, Dignan argued that school libraries are ill-equipped to serve the needs of an entire community.

“Just because we share the name ‘libraries’ doesn’t mean we’re interchangeable,” said Dignan. “The purposes and design are very different.”