I spent over 30 years as a systems analyst for numerous businesses, not-for-profits and higher education. I spent my last 10 years of full employment working for a three-college community college district with more than 60,000 students and 20,000 military students. The college I worked for was established as a “college without walls” to provide educational opportunities throughout our district — specifically, virtual and distance learning.
My analysis of the the challenges facing our library system are multifaceted — financial, political, management and survivability.
First, it was not realistic for the library to ask voters for full funding when numerous other county services are operating on life support and were going to suffer budget compression if the library funding ballot measure passed.
The library management and supporting committee should be focusing on basic survivability with some assemblage of existence.
Here's my pseudo-professional consult.
Option X — Maintain funding the main library at its current hours of operation until such time as the county revenue can support additional staff and hours of operation. Reduce library management and maintain/guide library through a board of dedicated volunteers. Minimize paid staff and supplement operations with dedicated volunteers. Library services card should be fee based — library only or library plus online/virtual library services (see Y).
Option Y — Contract with online/virtual library services to augment library services without incurring additional staffing.
Option Z — The branches will be offered to the communities they serve for continued operation and staffing. The main branch would still support the surviving branch’s with computer services and book exchanging.
Another option is some form of joint collaboration with UCC library. The college is here to support the community and their students who might not be able to always drive to the campus to use the library.