ADAMS -- Trustees think the Free Library staff needs a boost and are recommending a new part-time assistant position be added as part of their fiscal 2014 budget.
The request, passed unanimously at a recent meeting, correlates with the library's upgrade from online affiliate to member in Cen tral/Western Mass achusetts Auto mated Resource Sharing System, or C/W MARS.
Employees and trustees hope to get Adams fully "online" and swapping books with both local and regional patrons via C/W MARS, a 155-library state sharing network, as soon as possible, but they first need to enter roughly 3,000 items into their database.
However, Town Administrator Jonathan Butler has indicated that money does not exist in the budget to add what would be a sixth library position, according to Director Deborah Bruneau.
The trustees decided to recommend the item nonetheless at their most recent meeting.
"We need a resource, and if we don't present that, nobody knows it," said trustee Joseph R. Greenbush.
The entries amount to roughly 450 hours of labor, trustee David M. Strzpek estimated. Additionally, higher levels of circulation are to be expected, because more people will enjoy access to Adams' collection.
"We're going from 7,500 patrons to more than a million," Bruneau said.
This means more work, as employees expect a spike in the amount of books they'll need to package and ship out.
According to Bruneau, Butler said increases in the cost of health insurance, lower levels of state aid and capital improvements to the building itself -- which town officials are pursuing -- combine to prevent any new hires in the coming year.
Bruneau contends that the town will receive increased levels of state aid in fiscal 2014, according to the Cherry Sheet, if the proposed budget is passed, but Chapter 78 aid to the library will decrease by an amount of roughly $50 -- from $10,492 to $10,449.
According to the state's website, unrestricted general government aid to Adams is level funded at $1,980,179 in the proposal, the same figure as in 2013.
In other business, newly installed security cameras inside the library are expected to be operating by March. These came at a cost of $8,000, two-thirds of which was paid by the town, the remaining by Adams Historical Society.
Architects with Austin De sign Inc., recently employed by the town to make capital improvement assessments on the building are expected to begin work this week. Butler hopes to have a shovel-ready project -- probably roof repairs coupled with masonry work -- to present to Town Meeting this summer.
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