Evanston library budget does not call for property tax increase

Kimberly Railey, Development Editor: Recruiting

The Evanston Public Library will not seek a property tax increase in its 2013 budget proposal, instead choosing to tie all service expansions to its ability to independently raise funds. 

“In tough economic times, the EPL Board of Trustees is cognizant of the responsibilities it holds,” EPL library director Karen Danczak Lyons said in a city news release issued Thursday. “Though they are appointed, not elected, they take their duties for the oversight of library finances very seriously.”

The library staff and EPL Board of Trustees collaborated on the plan, which will continue library services at the current property tax rate, according to the news release.

Proposals to expand or add services will be contingent on garnering competitive grants, donations and fundraising. If the funds are not raised, those services would be affected, according to the news release.

EPL has also taken up the cost of pay increases for its unionized staff without requesting more taxpayer money.

If the library can generate enough funds through its fundraising effort, it will convert the site of The Twig into an Evanston Public Library learning space, effective Jan. 1, according to the news release. Called Chicago-Main, it would be managed by EPL employees and volunteers.

— Kimberly Railey