Thumbs up to Menominee County Library officials for coming up with a plan to maintain normal services despite the pruning of $25,000 from the library’s operating budget. The cut was made by the Menominee County Board of Commissioners on the recommendation of County Administrator Jason Carviou.

In small town government, a $25,000 cut is not a small item. The budget slash did not sit well with the county library staff and its band of supports. They argued their case before the administrator and the full board. The decision was a tough call, too, for Carviou and county commissioners. But it was one that had to be made in order to come up with a balanced budget. The cut in the county library funding was not the only painful cut county commissioners had to make.

Plans call for the library to dip into its acquisitions budget, and for the Friends of the Menominee County Library to organize fund-raising activities in order to come up with additional revenue. The plan will allow the library to maintain its services, hours of operation and to retain the same personnel. The library’s acquisition budget is in place for the library to purchase items like new books and magazine subscriptions.

Friends of the Library will attempt to raise revenue through grants, donations and fundraising activities. Donations do not need to be only in monetary form.

“Some people will buy a new release to read when it first comes out and then bring it to the library to share,” said Nancy Tuinstra, president of the Friends of the Menominee County Library. “Not all of it will be cash-in-hand for the library, but it will be books or supplies,” she added.

Supporters will also consider placing a millage vote before voters in a March 2020 election. A successful millage vote would replace the money pruned from the library budget.

We applaud the Menominee County Library and its supporters for working hard to maintain public services despite a disappointing setback in anticipated funds from county government. Some organizations and individuals simply quit instead of looking for ways and methods to replace lost revenues.