Ellsworth Public Library

In fall 2019, library trustees approved a new policy to request funding per capita from the 18 surrounding towns that we serve, and to implement a cardholder fee for residents of any towns that do not provide funding in full to the library. This policy was set to take effect July 1, 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic most town meetings were postponed or cancelled, so library trustees have delayed implementation until October 1, 2020. At that time all residents of a town that does not provide funding will pay $25 for a library card. The fee will go up to $30 in 2021.

On June 11th 2020, city councilors unanimously decided to cut $100,000 from the library’s fiscal year 2021 budget. This represents a 15% cut, on top of a 5% cut library trustees had already made to the budget from fiscal year 2019. If it goes through, this would be a very severe cut to the library that will require us to cut both hours and services.

As the county seat and the largest city in Hancock County, Ellsworth is a busy service center and our library serves many of the surrounding smaller communities, for a combined service population of over 20,000. The library is a bustling hub that draws people from throughout the region into downtown. Last year we welcomed over 83,000 people into our building. Most of the surrounding towns we serve provide funding to the library, but at a much lower rate than the city of Ellsworth does.

More information about the new policy:

Presentation: Library Funding Forum November 2019
Library trustees and administration presented the new funding plan for support from surrounding towns at a public forum in November 2019.

Town Funding Request Letters FY21
Our FY21 funding request letters to supporting towns were co-signed by the city council chairman and city manager in fall 2019. City council signed off on our new funding plan.

Ellworth Public Library Strategic Plan
Funding diversity is a strategic goal. In line with this goal, library trustees have reduced the City of Ellsworth requested appropriation for FY20 and FY21 by about 5% each year.

The Ellsworth Public Library is a municipal library and a department of the city of Ellsworth. The library is governed by a five member board of trustees, elected by Ellsworth residents.

Library Operating Budget

For a full breakdown of our operating budgets from Fiscal Year 2015 to the present, see the spreadsheet here. The City of Ellsworth appropriation is highlighted in blue, with other revenue at the bottom. The library no longer has an assigned fund balance, and library trustees began taking interest from the library’s investment account in FY19. Note that FY21 is a draft budget and library trustees will need to make revisions to align with the final decision on the budget amount by Ellsworth City Council. Library trustees expect to pass a revised budget at their meeting on July 21st, 2020.

Our FY19 budget report (actual expenditures versus budgeted amounts) is available here. Note that this is our entire operational budget, which includes other revenue. The City of Ellsworth appropriation for FY19 was $619,495. Our expenditures were $47,000 less than anticipated in FY19. Library trustees have reduced the total FY21 operational budget (before any city council cuts) by $37,000 from FY19. They reduced the City of Ellsworth appropriation at a higher rate, so the city portion has gone down by $57,000 since FY19. Again, this is before any cuts by city council.

Questions about the library budget? Please contact Director Amy Wisehart – awisehart@ellsworthlibrary.net.

Ellsworth Library Funding Breakdown for FY20:

Employee Salaries $389,926.00
Employee Benefits $168,457.00
Contractual Services $62,400.00
Supplies and Materials $69,250.00
Equipment $7,000.00
Total: $697,033.00