To The Editor:
On behalf of the Board of Trustees of the Oswego Public Library, this message is to clarify some of the confusion and misunderstanding about the relationship between the Oswego Public Library (known as the “Oswego School District Public Library”) and the Enlarged City School District of Oswego.
Below is a timeline summary:
February 6, 1998 – Blue Ribbon Panel determines that relationship between the Oswego School District and the Oswego City Library should be re-examined as the school district provided the majority of funding to the library. It was suggested that the 75-year contract be terminated.
October 13, 1998 – After the Library Board of Trustees received notification of severing ties with the school district effective July 1, 1999, a resolution was passed by the Library Board of Trustees to put forth the proposition to the voters of the Enlarged City School District. The resolution identified two objectives: 1. “to approve the establishment of the Oswego School District Public Library in the Enlarged City School District”; and 2. “…a proposition put before the voters to approve an annual appropriation for the operation of the Library in an amount to be determined prior to the submission of Library’s budget to the voters.”
May 18 1999 – Propositions were placed before the voters to:
1. Establish a School District Public Library in accordance with New York State Education Law 255 in the City of Oswego to be known as the “Oswego School District Public Library.” The vote passed – 3,411 yes; 1,211 no
2. Library Appropriation— “there shall be an annual appropriation to operate, support and maintain the Oswego School District Public Library to be raised annually by tax upon the taxable real property of the School District pursuant to NYS Education Law Sect 259; with this appropriated amount to be the annual appropriation thereafter until modified by a future vote of the electors of the City School District of Oswego. Passed – 3,463 yes; 1,232 no
3. Election of 7 members to the Board of Trustees. Motion passed.
July 1, 1999 – The library officially opened as the” Oswego School District Public Library.”
The Oswego City School District discontinued providing any operating funds to the Oswego S.D. Public Library.
In accordance with NYS Education Law 259, the sole responsibility of the School District is to collect the library tax monies and ensure monies collected are paid over to the library.
In summary, the library is responsible to put forth a proposition before the voters of the Oswego City School District to approve any increases to a previously approved appropriation for the operation of the library; in addition to these appropriations, the library is dependent upon grants, gifts, donations, fundraisers, and volunteers to maintain and provide services to the community.
President, Board of Trustees
Oswego S.D. Public Library