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West Allis Library is thankful it can still stock its shelf

City's budget continues to allow for material acquisitions

Nov. 19, 2013

West Allis — The West Allis Public Library continues to enjoy city support that allows it to order books and materials patrons want, its director says.

Michael Koszalka says he is relieved that the library has been able to keep its materials acquisition budget strong, despite pressures from a poor economy and the proposed 2014 library budget's 3.9 percent increase.

"Some libraries are struggling with their materials budgets," West Allis Public Library Director said.

The library has spent $281,000 annually for books and other materials for several years, he said. Next year though, it got a $1,000 bump.

To make that money go farther, the library participates in the state buying consortium, Koszalka said.

Traditional books are still very popular at the West Allis Library, he said, but DVDs are also extremely popular.

The library's 2014 budget made it through the Library Board's scrutiny and didn't attract any flak at the Nov. 5, he said. The city's budget reviews continue, but Koszalka is hopeful nothing will change.

"We weren't cut, and these days that's something we're very happy about," he said.

He was able to hold 2014 library spending at zero except for pay, Koszalka said.

Because of the poor economy, wages had been frozen for several years, he said. Small raises were given this year and 2 percent raises are in the 2014 budget, he said. The $71,220 for the raises next year boosted the library's proposed 2014 budget 3.9 percent. The total proposed 2014 budget is $1,895,226.

— Jane Ford-Stewart

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