An Announcement From the Board of Directors of La Biblioteca

For decades, the Biblioteca Pública has operated in its facilities under a trust granted by the federal government and overseen by INDAABIN. The “trust” contract for our Biblioteca was renewed for another 20 years in July 2013, when Kenneth Mark Rowland served as President. At that time, INDAABIN was informed of the activities carried out by the Biblioteca, and the income obtained from our non-profit social enterprises.

Among the functions of the INDAABIN are periodic verification visits to the buildings it administers, and over the years, such visits were made to the Biblioteca.

On a recent visit, the INDAABIN remarked that the legal status of a “trust” does not allow the creation of social enterprises; therefore, the Biblioteca must request a new legal status, a concession, with all the fiscal consequences that this status entails.

Our Biblioteca has been operating in good faith and with firm control to ensure that social enterprises, which are operated by Biblioteca employees, adhere to the principle that all net proceeds obtained by these enterprises go to support the Biblioteca. No third party benefits from these operations. Our goal is to direct all donations to the programs that are at the core of the Biblioteca’s mission. Our dream is to increasingly generate more income so that this mission is extended to more children and young people in our community.

The Biblioteca does not have an adequate endowment fund. However, judicious steps have been taken in the overseeing of finances, and there now are adequate reserves to guarantee the immediate commitments to the Bibliteca’s educational mission as well as to its staff obligations and, of course, to addressing the maintenance and repair needs of our historic building. .

This new development with INDAABIN occurs at a time when the current administration of the Biblioteca and its staff have reached a level of financial stability and operational cohesion never before achieved.

We have had several meetings with INDAABIN representatives. At the last one, we were assured of the good will of the officials in charge, who have advised us on how to proceed to regularize the situation. We have started the paperwork that they asked us to complete to obtain the “concession.” However this would imply additional expenses to pay for the application, official evaluations of the property, rent, and business income tax.

Simultaneously, we are in negotiations with INDAABIN to review these new conditions. We are submitting audited financial reports to demonstrate that we would not be able to meet these new requirements without affecting the free services provided by the Biblioteca  (scholarships, classes, workshops, summer courses, public spaces, meeting rooms, etc.) and/or maintaining the staff needed for the entire operation to function.

We are very hopeful that a fair arrangement will be reached to solve the problem once and for all, and that the change in status might offer new opportunities to the Biblioteca.

The board of directors and the staff are working together to develop new projects to help the institution move forward with its mission, and they look forward to the support of all those who have enjoyed Biblioteca benefits and the continued support of our many volunteers who serve this venerable institution and, by doing so, the community at large.

 

Ali Zerriffi

Acting President  /  Presidente Interino

For the Board of Directors  /  Mesa Directiva

La Biblioteca Pública

 

 

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