Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Flagler County Public Library's Passport to Revenue

When the Flagler County Public Library was hit hard with funding losses in 2007, Library Director Holly Albanese knew she had to find alternative funding sources “out of desperation.”

She found the answer “by luck” when reading about a federal library in
California that was a
Passport Application Acceptance Facility and started looking into it. It took three months just to get the application to apply to be a facility. Eventually Flagler County Public Library was chosen as a passport facility and after staff went through training they began in January 2008 and have enjoyed the rewards ever since.

The first year they made $20,000 and for FY08-09 they expect to make over $40,000. This includes revenue from offering passport photos which they began in February 2009. “In June 2009 we made $6,000,” Holly says.

“Library people make great passport agents,” Holly says, “because we’re already detailed oriented. It’s a huge responsibility acting for the Federal government.”

In recognition of this amazing turnaround, Flagler County Public Library was recently awarded the Gale Cengage Learning Financial Development Award, given to “a library organization that has exhibited meritorious achievement in carrying out a financial development project to secure new funding sources for a public or academic library.” Director Albanese and Deirdre Wright, Reference Librarian, accepted the honor at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago in June (below), and the library was written up in the August/September of American Libraries magazine.

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