Hello Union Vale residents,
We promised to update you on the library
situation so first we will re-cap and then share what has transpired since we last communicated.
- Mid-Hudson Library System (MHLS) sent us a contract for 2020 that contains provisions with which the UV Town Board disagrees such as: total cost, payments to 4 (vs. two) libraries, no assigned metric to measure against, etc.
- In July, MHLS, on behalf of the libraries, started threatening to put UV residents "on restriction" after 12/31/19. They have repeatedly said they will not negotiate or meet with the UV Town Government but will put our residents "on restriction"
- In prior communications, MHLS has indicated they believe UV does not pay enough for library services but they compare Union Vale's "per capita" contribution only with the towns who have libraries
Union Vale's Payments vs. "Unserved" Towns in NY
- If Union Vale is compared with other towns in NY State that do not have a library (the "unserved" category), UV pays more per capita than any other town in New York (click on the spreadsheet above)
Communications Since our Last Email to You
- The Town Board laid out its concerns and objections in a letter to the two libraries our residents frequent the most. That letter can be seen here:
- The Beekman Library Board of Trustees answered with a "MHLS terms only"; sign "as is" or go "on restriction". That letter is presented here:
- We then wrote the Millbrook Library Board President in an effort to avoid restriction, earnestly requesting they contract with us directly (which would give our residents full access to the MHLS System). You can read our letter to Millbrook here:
- You can read the Millbrook reply here (hint, it is a "no"):
The Bottom Line
MHLS demands that Union Vale pay four libraries based on their geography and an
arbitrary "per capita" calculation
. The Union Vale Town Board would like to "
contract for services"
based on the number of residents who actually use those libraries (this is the most prevalent way of acquiring library services in NY State by towns like ours).
We do not have all the answers but the current contract from MHLS contains exorbitant costs and provisions that are not in the best interests of the residents of Union Vale. Should the libraries change their minds and wish to engage in a conversation about how to negotiate the contract in a mutually beneficial way, we are optimistic we could find a solution. If they contact us, we will alert you right away.
In the meantime, we know how important library services are to some of our residents and we are pursuing affordable alternatives until we can come to terms with our local libraries.