Biblioteca Quarterly Report—September 30, 2016
Biblioteca Quarterly Report—September 30, 2016
Many things have happened since we submitted the last report on May 27.
We now have a full board, thanks to Rhonda Lerner and Jan Davis, who have volunteered to join the staff and us in managing the institution. Rhonda is well known in San Miguel as an event organizer and fundraiser and Jan brings in her knowledge as a librarian and a businesswoman.
We now have Jan as the assistant treasurer, so all the executive positions are filled, and at the July monthly meeting Rhonda Lerner was nominated by the board as chair of the Fundraising Committee, Jan Davis as chair of the Public Relations Committee, and Gregory Diamant as chair of the Enterprise Committee. We intend to include staff in the various committees, but we really need existing library members and people from the community to become members and join one of the committees to help move the Biblioteca to its next level of operation.
We have been concentrating mostly on working on policies and procedures, and for that purpose we have the framework of the five-year plan matrix established by Enrique Carrillo, our Treasurer, who has outlined the strengths, weaknesses, and potential of each department and of the library in general.
We are also fortunate to have Linda Hampton (Highview Communications) offer her services to facilitate a board retreat to help the staff and us in determining our priorities, our goals, and the means to achieve them. Board members and staff are filling out a questionnaire to provide her with input, and this will be followed by interviews of department heads and board members before we do the retreat.
Our past President, Rita DeBrito, initiated a Science Club over 10 years ago and ran it until late last year when she had to let it go for health reasons, but we recently signed an agreement with the municipal government to start a new science club, thanks to Mayor Ricardo Villarreal and his team, who believe strongly in the importance of education for the future of the youths of our community. We now have a new program with a roster of teachers from the local educational institutions, and we can keep providing students with support in science studies.
We are also working on a project with the municipal government and the various institutions of higher learning that are now in San Miguel to create a virtual library which can be consulted by all the students of the area, with its main server located at the Biblioteca. A dedicated fiber-optic distributor will be installed for the library, which will give us more bandwidth and speed for the virtual library and many other library projects such as eBooks access and even linkage with other libraries outside of Mexico.
Our financial situation has improved significantly thanks to the efforts of all the departments aimed at reducing costs and increasing revenues. We have been renovating the theater and working on a balanced schedule of programs to cater to our patrons, young and old, Spanish and English-speaking. The Tienda is getting a makeover and will have new articles for sale. We are also working on finalizing an agreement with the Office of Tourism so we can jointly promote the cultural and architectural richness of our community through articles in Atención and excursions such as the House & Garden Tours.
So at the end of August, and the end of the summer high season, the bottom line is much better than it was last year at the same date. The finances have been stabilized and the cash flow is a little more reassuring, but we still have to appeal to the community for support so we can expand our programs and implement our new projects.
Reviewing the data of the past few years we realized that, in reality, 29 percent of our budget goes to free educational support (scholarships, art and science classes, foreign language teaching, among other things); 60 percent goes to providing the community with entertainment in all its forms (Sala Quetzal and Teatro Santa Ana), news and events calendar (Atención and Que Pasa), a meeting place (main patio and Café Santa Ana); and 11 percent goes for infrastructure maintenance.
In contrast, except for the year the Biblioteca was a beneficiary of a generous legacy, the donations we have received fluctuated from 3 to 6 percent of our budget.
While we are aiming at a higher level of operational self-sufficiency, we do want to bring in the innovations that exist in the world of libraries and set up programs that would benefit our members, our students, and our community.
The Biblioteca has had the same mission for decades but has just set new goals for the future and needs your support. We welcome new members, more volunteers, enthusiastic participation in our upcoming events, and yes, donations that will help maintain the programs going on for years to come.
The Board of Directors of La Biblioteca