The new Jackson-Milton Branch of the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County is under roof and scheduled to open this spring; and a new Canfield library will be the next major new construction project for the system.
The masonry work is nearly complete, all windows have been installed, and construction workers are laboring in the now-heated interior of the $1.4 million Jackson-Milton building through the winter, said Heidi Daniel, library director.
The new Jackson-Milton branch, for which ground was broken July 30, is on land donated by the Jackson- Milton schools near Duck Creek Road and Mahoning Avenue.
The Canfield library, which is too small to meet patron demand and lacks a meeting room, will close before it is rebuilt and expanded on the current site at 43 W. Main St., Daniel said.
The library system has acquired some adjacent land parcels for the Canfield project and still is acquiring more adjacent land. It is unknown whether the current, 1969-vintage building will be demolished or incorporated into the new structure, she said.
Daniel said she does not yet know the cost and construction schedule of the Canfield project.
Beginning early next month, patrons of the Austintown, Boardman and Newport branches will be able to borrow laptop computers for two hours for use within those libraries, Daniel told library trustees Thursday.
At the end of next month, the library system will begin offering mobile printing at its branches, allowing patrons to print from their personal computers or library laptops to the library’s printers. Jobs also may be sent from home computers to the library printer of the patron’s choice.
Digital lending rose to 64,057 e-book checkouts in 2012, a 50 percent increase over the previous year, Daniel told the board.
The board adopted a revised 2012 budget of $18,604,967 and a 2013 budget of $18,152,896 in its general fund, which is its main operating fund.
The decline is due to a decrease in real-estate tax revenue because of local real-estate devaluation, a decrease in state funding, and money being transferred from the general fund to the building and repair fund for construction projects, said Susan G. Merriman, fiscal officer.
The uncommitted general fund carryover from 2012 to 2013 was $3,361,973.
The system remains debt free and has a savings and investment portfolio of $24,548,710, Merriman told the board.
Thirteen library employees retired at the end of 2012, including Mary Pullin, assistant library director, who earned about $89,000 a year, Daniel said.
Pullin, who was with the library system for 39 years, will not be replaced, and her workload was divided among three other administrators, Daniel told the board.