A Sturtevant library may be on the horizon.
The Sturtevant Village Board is considering a library cooperative as they continue to explore various funding options.
Steve Ohs, an administrator with Lakeshore Library System, presented information to the board about what they could expect if they joined the co-operative library system
As a member of the co-operative, Ohs told the board a significant benefit is resource sharing. For a library in a small village like Sturtevant, it provides patrons access to a massive range of materials from across the system which includes libraries in Kenosha and Walworth Counties.
The co-op also pools resources to provides educational services at libraries for patrons. It also uses resources to provide information technology services to all the libraries, which will save on overhead costs.
As a member of the co-operative, any potential Sturtevant library would get more bang for its buck with co-operatively funded services and tax exemptions it can apply for.
The Library can also apply for an exemption from county taxes levied on municipalities for library services. The municipality can request the exemption once it reaches a specific level of funding, which for Sturtevant is $160,000. That’s the amount that has been allocated for the library.
Once the county exemption has been granted, they can also apply for reimbursement from other counties if residents from outside of Sturtevant use the library, as long as the resident comes from a community without a public library.
“Funding for library use follows the feet of the borrower,” said Ohs.
While no trustee’s voiced opposition to the prospect of a library in Sturtevant, some expressed concerns and called for more information and research.
Trustee Carrie Harbach said she likes the idea of having a library, but where she can’t “cross over” is with the overhead costs of a new library.
“We have a beautiful library on a beautiful lake, with every service you could possibly want,” she said. “I don’t know how we duplicate that.”
Trustee John Johnson proposed housing the library in a couple of rooms in the municipal building that the village isn’t currently using.
Trustee Chris Wright said the idea was something to consider, and suggested it could even be used as a temporary location to save money.
Because of the nature of getting the library started, the village will have to pay for operating their library and the County library service levy the first year it’s open. Using space in the municipal building would reduce costs temporarily by cutting out capital costs of construction.
Trustee Mark Villalpando said he still wasn’t ready to vote on a resolution approving appropriation of funds for the library. He called for more research and budgeting for the library.