With a new executive director and recently modified Saturday hours, the Scappoose Public Library is looking ahead.
The public library is undergoing changes in hopes of better preparing for the building's future maintenance needs, says Jeff Weiss, the library's new director.
Weiss has only been on the job for about three weeks, but the Indiana native says the recent cut to Saturday hours will help reduce the need for a three-person staff on Saturdays, saving money for other things like build-
ing weatherization and other future unforeseen expenses.
"I did some analysis of the needs we're going to have in the next couple years," Weiss said. "I'm trying to build a budget where we can repair things if they break. The physical building itself is
aging and needs some repair."
Addressing murmurs that the library might be in bad financial shape, Weiss said the small library district, which is funded by a fixed tax levy and fundraisers put on by the Friends of the Scappoose Public Library, is OK, but it relies entirely on part-time staff, including his position, and doesn't really have reserves.
Weiss said the library's tax levy should be sufficient, especially with new development in Scappoose that pays into the property tax, adding to the library's coffers.
"The library budget is very small and they used to just do things as needed," Weiss said of repairs and maintenance. "I want to be fiscally responsible and try to build up some cash reserves for the maintenance of the building."
Library board members contacted did not return requests for comment.
With five part-time librarians, the library has been able to offer a summer reading program, with free activities for kids and teens, as well as other year-round activities and programs.