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What's My Job: A Guide To Being a Library Trustee: Securing Adequate Funding

Securing Adequate Funding

Know Your Funding Sources!

Most libraries receive funding from a variety of sources. Here are the four most common in our system:

School ballot referendum: The most stable, sustainable source of funding for libraries, a school ballot referendum puts library funding directly into the hands of voters in your community.

Municipal funding: Depending on your community, your library may receive funds from one or more municipal governments (town, village, etc.).

County funding: Three out of four of the counties that comprise our service area allocate funds to support libraries.

Local Library Services Aid: This is direct aid from New York State that is calculated according to population. The state sends the funds to NCLS, and we then directly deposit them into member library accounts. (Find your allocation here.)

Funding best practices

The library board must ensure that the library has an adequate level of funding to carry out its mission.  It's important for trustees to fully understand where library funds come from and exercise fiduciary responsibility for the use of those public and private funds.

Funding best practices include:

- Participate in country funding process

- Advocate for state support for libraries and library systems

- Understand other financial issues that affect your library (reporting, 501c3 status, etc.)

- Know available funding options


Ballot Funding

Ballot Funding Guide COMING SOON!

You can find a printable ballot toolkit below.

Financial Accountability - COMING SOON!

To lean more about trustee fiduciary responsibilities, the role of the Treasurer, budgeting and more, a Library Financial Accountability guide will be posted soon.