The Library’s board understands the City’s financial constraints and is pursuing becoming a School District Public Library. This funding option would create a district library that shares the school district’s boundaries and is funded directly by school district residents. The Library’s chartered service area would expand from just the City of Johnstown to the Greater Johnstown School District, which also includes portions of the Town of Johnstown, Ephratah, Palatine and the City of Gloversville.
The two hallmarks of a library district are that the public votes on the Library’s budget and elects its trustees. There are over 200 library districts across New York. These libraries are financially secure, have a sustainable base of funding and provide more accountability to the public because of the public budget vote and the election of trustees.
The voters of the Johnstown School District will have the opportunity to vote on whether or not to create a library district on Tuesday, June 5th. Voting will be overseen by school district personnel and will take place at the Library. In addition to voting on the district creation, voters will also have the opportunity to elect seven trustees. The trustees will only take office if the district is approved.
Locally, the other two libraries in Fulton County–Gloversville and Northville—are school district public libraries.
To clarify some misconceptions about this funding option:
- A school district public library is not owned by the school district.
- A school district public library does not replace the libraries in our local public schools.
- Library district employees are not employees of the school district.
- The Library’s budget is not part of the school district’s budget and the library does not take any of the school district funding.