Frequently Asked Questions
The library receives no state or federal funding; revenue mainly from business and residential property tax. Falling oil and gas income has been the biggest issue for the library. All told, revenue has dropped more than 45% from its peak in 2010.
Even though demand for services has increased, the library team has found ways to “tighten the belt.” Expenses have been reduced by various measures, and the Board of Trustees has made up budget shortfalls by releasing money from its reserves (built up during past years of healthy oil and gas income).
After reducing expenses during the past year, the library is requesting 1.5 additional mills, for a total of 3.5 mills. This translates to $337,031, spread among Bayfield residents and businesses. The owner of a median priced home ($325,000) will pay less than $3 a month in additional property tax.
The library takes its role in educating local children seriously, offering dozens of programs each month for kids. These range from Alphabet Art and story time for little ones to STEM and robotics sessions for older youth (not babysitting services!). But the library offers many opportunities for adults and seniors too, including tech help and classes, “Crafternoons,” caregiver support, scrapbooking, yoga and more. The library offers nearly 800 programs annually, evenly distributed over various age groups.
If you enjoy reading but can’t come in, call! Staff can show you how to download materials, including free audio books. If you have a disability, delivery to your house may be possible. If you live at Vallecito or in Forest Lakes, visit the bookshelves there.
The award-winning library is a key asset for Bayfield, especially since the area lacks a dedicated community center and facilities and programs other regions have. The library assists unemployed folks to create resumes and get jobs, it helps seniors and veterans avoid isolation, it offers locals internet access and business services and it keeps students off the streets after school. The library has a positive impact on property value; Realtors use it as a selling point.
The Board has determined there are very limited reserves that can be used for budget gaps. If the 2019 measure fails, expect staff layoffs, further reductions in hours and more cuts to programs, materials and services.