Q: What is the NJ State Library’s role in addressing LibraryLinkNJ’s budget shortfall?
A: We can only speak for LibraryLinkNJ. When the FY19 budget crisis first emerged, The NJ State Library immediately identified additional funding of $91,000 from LSTA funding and cost-sharing for programs that we co-sponsored with them. Our understanding is that the increased funding is limited to FY19, and would not carry over to FY20. Our budget shortfall remains at $370,000.
Q: If LibraryLinkNJ closes, what will become of Continuing Education services like Super Library Supervisor, the On-Site Staff Development Subsidies, and Project Management?
A: We don’t know. If we dissolve, the NJ State Library is responsible for continuing to provide statewide delivery, but no other statewide library organization is obligated to provide the continuing education opportunities -- including Super Library Supervisor, Project Management, and Technology Speed Dating -- that have been one of the hallmark services of NJ’s library cooperatives for the last 30 years.
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Q: Who are the intended recipients of the LibraryLinkNJ advocacy campaign?
A: We see that there are two groups of advocacy message recipients. Internally, these are the library community: our members and library organizations within the state. Externally, recipients include: state government & legislators, foundations & grant-making organizations.
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Q: What is the status of LibraryLinkNJ’s contract with the vendor for the statewide delivery service?
A: We just signed a renewal of our contract with our vendor, TForce Final Mile. This renewal will expire on December 31, 2019. In the event that LibraryLinkNJ dissolves by June 30, 2019, we have the right to transfer our role in the contract to another entity. The New Jersey State Library is responsible for providing statewide interlibrary loan delivery service.
Q: How did you develop the idea of a sliding scale for delivery cost sharing? Why not a flat rate for all participating member libraries?
A: Originally the Cost Share Team of the Delivery Task Force (Eileen Palmer, LMxAC; Alexandria Arnold, Bernardsville Public Library; and Courtenay Reece, Millville Public Library; along with LibraryLinkNJ staff Kathy Schalk-Greene, Joanne Roukens, and Sophie Brookover) considered a 30% flat rate for all.
We ran the numbers, looked at the result, and decided that a “one size fits all” approach wasn’t fair to the range of resource-sharing volume represented by our libraries, large and small, active and less so.
We then experimented with two sliding scales, with the determining factor being the number of stops per week paid for by LibraryLinkNJ. We considered the extra stops paid for by individual libraries and calculated so they wouldn’t pay twice. After trying several variations, we decided on the 17% rate for libraries with 1-3 stops per week, and a 27% rate for libraries with 4-5 stops.
Q: My library would like to eliminate a stop per week, in order to pay a smaller rate. Is that possible?
A: LibraryLinkNJ, according to our contract with TForce Final Mile, can reduce the number of stops libraries receive. We need to consider your current volume of usage to see if it makes sense from a systems perspective to reduce your number of stops per week. We would need a minimum of 4 weeks’ notice in order make a change approved by the Executive Director of LibraryLinkNJ. You can initiate this by calling Executive Director Kathy Schalk-Greene at 732-752-7720 no later than November 14 to discuss this option.
Q: Will member libraries using the delivery service be sent a cost-share bill for the second half of calendar year 2019? If so, how can they budget for it, since there may not be a $500 cap on the cost-share at that time?
A: We can’t accurately predict what will happen beyond our current fiscal year, ending June 30, 2019. If we do not survive this year and the delivery contract is handled by another agency in FY20 and beyond, it would be up to them to determine if there would be a cost-share for the delivery service going forward.
Q: BCCLS is considering the development of an independent delivery service. What effect would that have on LibraryLinkNJ’s budget?
A: BCCLS will make a decision about undertaking their own, intra-BCCLS delivery system in late October 2018. We don’t know the impact that will have on LibraryLinkNJ. At this point, we have a commitment from and contract with the NJ State Library for funding for FY19.
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