The Allegheny County Library Association has sent a new funding formula to the Regional Asset District. Last year the ACLA wrapped up an 18-month study into how to best distribute the more than $5 million allocated from the RAD tax to the 44 libraries in the county that are not part of the Carnegie Libraries of Pittsburgh. The RAD board used that formula for a year but asked the ACLA to revamp the formula. That new formula was approved last night on a 34-7 vote. ACLA Executive Director Marilyn Jenkins says there are three guiding principals behind the formula. She says it had to spread the funds throughout the county, it had to be based on reliable data and it had to be understandable. The formula includes consideration for population served, economically distressed population served, use by nonresidents, computer use and the amount of funding from local governments. Jenkins says she hopes the libraries will work within the formula to try to up their funding. She says libraries can try to launch programs that would increase the use of their materials and the use of the computers. She also points out that the libraries can go to their local governments and ask for more funds knowing that it will men an increase in RAD money flowing through the ACLA. The formula now goes to the RAD board for approval. Jenkins says she thinks this is a “strong response” to the board’s concerns.
Among the libraries that will see the largest gain; Sto-Rox +$33,615.36, Allegheny Valley +$28,698.94, and Braddock +$28,000.68. Among the libraries that will see the largest declines; Mt. Lebanon ($81,150.19), Monroeville ($77,487.95) and Upper St. Clair ($39,632.56). The smallest changes will be seen by Coraopolis, which will see its funding fall by $$257.74. A comparison of the 2010 and 2011 can be found here.