Tiny Library Thrives by Being Independent
The Sun Sentinel has this article about a library that stayed out of its county system, saved its taxpayers money, and is very content.
\"Some might say that 10 donated books and $100 wouldn\'t amount to much. But in Highland Beach, that combination equaled a nifty way to dodge taxes that later laid the foundation for a sophisticated library.\"
\"This library was really nothing,\" said Theresa Colarullo, one of three part-time library employees. \"People took out books on the honor system and children even had to sit on the floor. So it really warms your heart to see how far we\'ve come.\"
\"What started in the early \'80s as a way to save this seaside community thousands in annual library taxes has burgeoned into the Highland Beach Public Library, a stylish library that houses 16,000 selections. What\'s more, the popular library is swiftly turning into a social haven for many of the town\'s residents thanks to its diverse programs and cultural activities.\"
\"Launched in 1982, the library opened in a small room adjacent to Town Hall. The Town Commission upped the initial $100 after the County Commission enacted a law forcing all communities without libraries to pay into the county library system.\"
\"Although the county hoped the town library would join its system, Highland Beach library officials and town commissioners opted to keep it independent, said Library Director Mari Suarez.\"
\"The move saves the town about $424,000 in annual library taxes, said Stan Novak, the town\'s finance director.\"
\"Not belonging to the county gives us a lot more freedom,\" Suarez said. \"Because we get to decide along with residents what titles we want to carry and when and what we want to order. That makes us unique.\"