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The end of 2018 is almost upon us and with that, the library staff has been working on the budget for 2019.  Local governments on a calendar budget year begin setting their budgets for the coming year in the fall with estimated costs and anticipated revenues examined closely before the final budget is passed before the beginning of the new year.  The library’s costs to operate, including staff, digital services, books, media, and building maintenance increase every year but the government revenues we have coming in for operations don’t keep pace.  While generous private donations from individuals, our Foundation, and Friends of the Library help us to offer programming and services we otherwise would not, they don’t pay for general operations like payroll, heat and lights, and repairs.  The imbalance between government revenue and operating costs has hit the library hard this year and requires expenditure cuts.  The cuts will include a reduction in the amount we spend on library materials like books and media as well as the loss of Sunday hours beginning January 1.   We started opening on Sunday nine years ago and we hate to lose those hours but even with the loss, the library will still be open 64 hours per week which is amongst the highest for public libraries in western Wisconsin.