(This is part two of a series of articles on Library Funding and the Bergen County Cooperative Library System (BCCLS)) Part one
(Ed note: Only Bergen County Towns are eligible for funding from the Bergen County Freeholders Grant).
HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ - Until the recent decision to change the funding mechanism for the Bergen County Freeholder grant, if, and how much,money you received from BCCLS, depended on one thing - whether or not you were a "Net Lender' or a "Net Borrower". If you were a "net lender", you received funding. If you were a "net borrower", you did not.
What is a net lender or net borrower?
Simply, a net lender is a library that lends out more than it borrows. What creates issues is that people would guess that libraries would probably be close to net zero. Or that smaller towns would be net borrowers, and bigger towns would be net lenders. The statistics, provided by BCCLS, do not bear that out.
The top 20 lending/borrowing towns (Gross numbers)
|Top Lenders||Top Borrowers|
|8||Franklin Lakes||46,676||River Edge||44,384|
|18||Fair Lawn||32,771||Glen Rock||33,160|
Top 20 Net Lenders/Borrowers
|Top Net Lenders||Top Net Borrowers|
|3||Franklin Lakes||46,676||16,677||29,999||West Orange||13,275||44,336||(31,061)|
|8||Palisades Park||29,954||18,241||11,713||Fort Lee||44,311||62,014||(17,703)|
|9||Upper Saddle River||23,302||12,516||10,786||Oakland||14,827||29,217||(14,390)|
From the statistics, it is clear who the winners and losers are in the change in formula. Paramus stands to lose the most, as last year they received an estimated $45,000 in funding. That will be cut to $2,400.
Towns that lose funding will not see an immediate loss in revenues, as half of the calendar year has already been funded, but fiscal year 2019-20, will be where the impact is felt. (Governments run on fiscal years, July 1 to June 30).
According to BCCLS director Dave Hanson, 84% of the grant monies went to the top 12 lending towns. The rest of the net lending checks went to the remaining 16% of the libraries in Bergen County. (Only Bergen County towns receive money from the Freeholders.) Seven libraries received 50% of the grant money.
For towns like Wood-RIdge, Hackensack, Fair Lawn, Glen Rock, it will be the first time in quite a while that they will receive money from BCCLS. For Hasbrouck Heights, according to Hanson, they have already received half their funds, so they will lose only $2,000 in funding in 2019, close to $5,000 next year. Paramus loses over $40,000.
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