You can find the current year budget for the library here(link). You can find the library’s proposed budget following the transition to a school district library model here(link), which includes some explanation of each of the expenses. 

Funding for the Massena Library currently comes from the following sources: 

  • Library charges (fees for using the copy/fax machine, printing, etc)
  • Gifts and donations
  • Annual library system grants
  • Local taxes

Gifts and donations are estimated and based on historical amounts received, but are a variable source of income each year.  

Information about Grants

Grants are a variable income source that cannot be predicted from year to year. We often hear comments about the library needing to get more grants to fund operations, however that is not how grant funding works. 

Grants are typically one-time competitive awards that are designated for a specific purpose. This means that libraries are competing against each other (and sometimes against other non-profit organizations) for funding, and that funding can only be used for certain purposes. Grants do not exist to support the funding of day to day operations – it is expected that the library will fund daily operations from their operating budget and that grant funding is used for “extras” such as developing new programs, purchasing specific equipment, or funding construction. You don’t base your household budget assuming you’re going to win the lottery, and similarly the Library doesn’t budget against the possibility of winning grants. 

Here’s some info about the almost $300,000 in grant money that the Massena Library has received in recent years:

Financial comparison with other local libraries

The following is public information available through the North Country Library System (ncls.org) and is based on the year 2022, which is the most recent year of complete statistics available. 

The Massena library serves a population of 12,433 with 8,677 card holders – that’s right, 70% of residents have a library card! Other similarly sized libraries in the north country are Canton (population served 11,638) and Potsdam (population served 13,811). The following statistics aim to share how different libraries that serve similarly sized populations may allocate funds differently, based on their community’s needs. 

As you can see from the chart below, the Massena community has an impressive building that is not only double the size of the next largest library in the local area, but sees significant use by the community, with almost 50,000 patrons walking through the library doors annually. Our in-person visit rate is especially impressive considering the Massena library has the lowest number of weekly operating hours compared to both Potsdam and Canton. 

Note: FTE stands for Full Time Equivalent and is a way to account for the difference between part-time and full-time staff. If “full time” means 40 hours per week, and you have 2 part time employees that each work 20 hours per week, those two employees are equal to 1 FTE.