April 20, 2017 - Lassen Library District Board of Trustees passes Resolution 17-34 (PDF) to seek
additional revenue through an increase to the library parcel tax on the June 2018 ballot.

May 23, 2017 - Board of Trustees publishes a Press Release (PDF) announcing the passing of the resolution and some general statements regarding three major areas of library funding that prompted the Board to take this action (see below). 

December 14, 2017 - Board of Trustees passes Resolution 18-1 (PDF) ordering the specila tax election, setting the amount of the requested tax increase and filing the Notice of Special Election with the Lassen County Registrar of Voters.

January 9, 2018 - A news article (PDF) explaining the tax increase is published in the Lassen County Times. Board President releases a Clarification Statement (PDF) addressing certain errors in the newspaper article.

Major Areas of Funding Concern

Capital Improvements

• Roof – numerous repairs to the roof made since moving into the building in 1994 are only patches; the roof is badly in need of replacement and we are no longer protected by a warranty for damages to the building or the library’s collections resulting from roof failure

• Re-pave parking lot – the library is responsible for maintaining the pavement in front of the library out to the street and to the side of the building; the pavement has not been repaved since moving into the building in 1994

• Electrical – The electrical wiring in the building is ancient, fails randomly in different parts of the library, and overall is poorly designed and in need of a full makeover.

• Lighting systems –The current lighting system is outdated, often failing in areas of the building such as the Children’s Room, and uses older fluorescent lighting that is expensive to maintain and replace and uses excessive amounts of energy.

• Re-model public restrooms – The public restrooms need to be remodeled for ADA compliance.

Operating Expenses

• The library has experienced a loss of purchasing power since 1994 representing about 65%. Increases in the costs of utilities to operate the building, costs of supplies and materials to support essential library functions, and the cost of wage increases over the years have severely impacted the library’s ability to operate.

• Increases to the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2022 represent a 50% increase to staff wages just since 2016 (not inclusive of previous increases to the minimum wage). The library simply cannot afford to employ staff without additional financial support.

Future Expenses

• Technology upgrades – An important function of a public library in this age of technology is to remain current. A technology plan for turning around computer hardware on—at a minimum—a five-year cycle is in place; however, funding is insufficient. In addition, the library is unable to provide services common to other public libraries throughout the state and the nation (e.g., “Maker Spaces,” encouraging young people to try out science, technology, engineering and math [STEM] through fun and creative learning play year-round).

• Book Buying Fund – The library budget is no longer sufficient to allow the purchase of new books or the replacement of lost or damaged materials; all new materials in recent years have come through donations, which are insufficient to remain current.