The Ellicottville Memorial Library plans to request an increase in funding from the Ellicottville Central School tax levy in an effort to counteract recent New York state budget cuts.

As of 2019, the library receives $32,042 annually from the school tax levy, a tax rate of $3.72 per $100,000 assessed property value. With a proposed increase to $65,000, tax rates would increase to $7.56 per $100,000 assessed property value.

By comparison, the Franklinville Memorial Library receives $90,000 annually — $34.82 per $100,000 assessed value — and Cattaraugus-Little Valley receives $110,000 — $26.82 per $100,000 assessed value. The libraries in these communities serve a smaller population with a larger budget than the Ellicottville Memorial Library.

The last time the library asked for a substantial increase in funding was 2008.

The library’s request for an increase in funding would assist with higher payroll and operating costs — including the addition of more part-time help — and general maintenance of the building.

In the summer of 2020, the library plans to add additional square footage to the building, creating both a study room and storage area.

The 5,370-square-foot library and community center, opened in 2006, hosted over 28,000 visits in 2019. Free to use, the library circulated over 27,000 items and has seen a continual uptick in library-specific programs and attendance.

Welcoming visitors of all ages, it maintains programs such as Children’s Summertime Reading, Tech Tuesdays, Story Time and a variety of educational workshops. The library offers supplemental education for both children and adults. 

Since its move from the 1887 Building to its current location, the library’s circulation has increased from 4,644 to 27,376, with library program attendance jumping from 532 to 4,865. A not-for-profit, the library relies on state, local and fundraising aid to maintain building maintenance, payroll, technology and holdings.