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Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
Charles Town, West Virginia
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February 27, 2018     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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February 27, 2018
 

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PAGE A8 Wednesda3, February 21, 2018 NEWS / OBITUARIES SPIRI I of JLt F ON and FARMER'S ADVOCATE MARCELLA GENZ The four libraries in Jefferson County - Bolivar-Harpers Ferry, Charles Town, Shepherdstown and South Jefferson - are autonomous libraries, receiving local funding from the Jefferson County Commis- mu ficipalities and the Board of Education. It might be asked, how well are the libraries of Jeffer- son County doing? Libraries use a number of bench- marks to measure performance. Two sources provide data for key performance indicators;i the Insti- tute for Museum and Library Ser- vices' annual public library survey and the West V!rginia annual statis- tical report. These two publications provide data about the number of materials a libratyholdsi the num- ber of volumes circulated, the num- ber of visits to the library, the num- ber of Internet Users, and the num- ber of programs offered by a library as well as the number of people who attend those programs. There are other use indicators, of course, but these are the primary ones that ev- ery library gathers to provide a feel for how a library is doing. The state of West Virginia is not known for its robust library servic- es, ranking 49th in local operating revenue and consequently, 49th in staff salaries and the number of pro- fessional librarians. The libraries of West Virginia do better in other categories, but not by much, ranking 47th in operat- ing revenue. Given this ranking, li- brary services in the state are noth- ing to be proud of. Although West Virginia's statistical report does not rank library services by county as the IMLS survey does for states, we can see how "average" the libraries of Jefferson County are through the data presented in the statistical re- port. Let's look then at national and state averages for these performance indicators. The national average for number of materials in a collec- tion is 3.8 items per capita. Jeffer- son County libraries combined hold 193,282 items or 3.6 items per capi- ta. West Virginia's holdings per cap- ita is 10.8 - an anomaly, perhaps. In any case, Jefferson County's librar- ies are holding their own in number of materials with the national aver- age. In the number of items circulat- ed, the U.S. average is 7.5 per cap- ita. Jefferson County circulates 4.5 items per capita, a shortfall of 40 Taxed-based funding for library personnel at the four libraries in Jefferson County - Bolivar-Harpers Ferry, Charles Town, Shepherdstown and South Jefferson - is $8.23 per capita. That's far behind the state average of $13 and the national average of $24.76. In Jefferson County, we can either have qualified library staff, or books and buildings - but not both. Or we can do what we've been doing, a little bit of all of it, but not providing the robust library services that a community like Jefferson County deserves. percent, but 20 percent better than West Virginia's average circulation. Our wealthy neighbor to the east, Loudoun County, Va circulates 16 items per capita, and clearly shows how slightly above average funding can energize a library. In the number of visits, the na- tional average is 4.6 visits per cap- ita. Jefferson County's libraries see 2.4 people per capita, 47 percent fewer than nationally, 14 percent fewer than West V'trginia's average of 2.8 and 56 percent fewer visits than Loudoun County at 5.4 visits per capita. In the number of Intemet users, the national average is 1.1 per cap- ita. Jefferson County provides ac- cess to the Internet for about .38 per. capita; the state of West Virginia .5 per capita. In the number of programs, both Jefferson County and West Virginia exceed the per capita national aver- age of 14.6 programs per 1,000 peo- ple. The libraries of Jefferson Coun- ty provided 1,088 (national average is 785 programs for Jefferson Coun- ty's population) programs last year, attended by more than 16,178 peo- ple. In numbers of people attending the programs, both Jefferson County by 10 percent and the state by 20 per- cent lag behind - Jefferson County had 16,178 attendees; national aver- age for our population is 17,957; the state had 483,528 attendees; the na- tional average for the state's popula- tion is 615,937. Why are the libraries, in the coun- ty doing so poorly in comparison to the national average? In 2012, the Institute for Museum and Library Services found that "as investments, such as revenue, staffing, and pro- gramming, increased, so did critical measures, such as visitation and cir- culation." Libraries are funded primarily by local tax-based sources. While the state of West Virginia is sixth in the nation for providing state funding at $5.09 per capita for library ser- vices to each of the counties, librar- ies across the country are primari- ly funded by local government. The Jefferson County Commission pro- vides $6.15 per capita funding for the libraries. With funding from the Board of Education and the municipalities, an additional $2.23, the total per capita tax-based funding is $13.47. This is based on the 2010 census-- given the growth in the County, us- ing estimated population for 2016 (last year available), the per capita funding in the County is currently at less than $12.81. The West Virginia state average tax-based funding is $20.37 per capita. In spite of trailing behind the state average by $7 per capita, the libraries of Jefferson County's key performance indicators are higher in two of the four indicators: circu- lation and number of programs and attendees. That is no mean feat given how sparse the funding is for libraries in the County. Let's look at a specific impact of low funding: When people think of libraries they think of books, or in- formation, or reading, or help; but, they tend not to think very much about those who run libraries. Much of the work of a library is done be- hind the scenes. Libraries, as knowl- edge institutions, require a well-ed- ucated workforce. While circulation staff are the public face of the library, what they do is only a very small part of the work of libraries. The average staff- ing for libraries in the United States for a population the size of Jeffer- son County is 21.6 full-time equiva- lent staff. Of those, 5.6 would hold the required credential for profes- sional rank librarians, the American Library Associ ition-master's in li- brary and information sciences de- gree. In Jefferson County, there are 17 FTE employees of which 2.55 are ALA-MLIS librarians. Librarians and staff are the ones who make information accessible and create learning spaces and op- portunities. Without people, there is no library. While the staff needed for the libraries of Jefferson Coun- ty is 20 percent short of the national average, the actual shortfall comes in per capita funding of personnel. Taxed-based funding for personnel in Jefferson County is $441,487 or $8.23 per capita (divided equally among the 17 FTE staff, less than $26,000 in salary and benefits for each staff member). The national average per capita for personnel is $24.76 - that exceeds the total per Capita funding of the county librar- ies ($13.76) by more than $11. In the state itself, the average funding for personnel is $13 per capita. If the state of West Virginia is 49th in the nation in funding of its personnel, what rank might Jeffer- son County be? Thus, Jefferson County, to meet the state funding average for per- sonnel can either have qualified staff, or books and buildings, but not both. Or we can do what we've been doing, a little bit of all of it, but not providing the robust library servic- es that a community like Jefferson County deserves. Given what there is to work with, the libraries are per, forming far better than could possi- bly be expected. And that is the sad state of the li- braries of Jeffer- Son County. - Marcella Genz is the direc- tor of the Charles Town Library David William Ott David William Ott, 61, of Charles Town, WV passed away on Sunday, February Winchester Medi- Born February 24i .1956 in Charles Town, WV, he was the son of the late Thomas William Ott and Nellie Long Ott. David was a farmer and caretaker. He was of the Christian faith. He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Nicole Ott, at fot,r 'Lisa Barker, qcrcsa Aim Boyd and husband, Chris, Carol Gaynor, and Stacy Maison- neuve, one soil Thomas Ott II, an adopted son, David Ott II, four sisters, Eliza Bayles and husband, Paul, Elizabeth St. Ranson, WV 25438 Robert C. Fields, LIC Whitmore, Barbara Wolford and husband, Gary and Ju- dith Hawkins and husband, Charles and numerous nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Condolences may be ex- pressed at www.eackles- spencerfuneralhome.com PAID MEMORIAL Robert W. Dodson Sr. Robert W. Dodson Sr 65, of Middleway, a loving hus- band, father and grandfather died Monday, Feb. 19, 2018, at his residence. Born May 26, 1952, in Jef- ferson County, he was the son of Marvin E. Dodson Sr. and Edna Mae (Chrisman) Dod- son. He owned and operated Dodson Plumbing and Heat- ing Company Inc. After re- tirement, he owned and op- erated Hillbilly Charter Fish- ing, in Reedville, Virginia. He was a member of Zion Episcopal Church and a grad- uate of Charles Town High School, class of 1970. Mr. Dodson Sr. was a mem- ber of the Knights of Py- thias, Ranson; Loyal Order of Moose Lodge No. 948, Charles Town; and the Isaac Colonial Funeral Home 310 S. Fairfax Blvd. o Charles Town / Rans0n Full Service Funerals & Cremations J.B. BaIT Licensee-in-Charge Family Owned since 1889 www.mtstrider.com Walton League. He was an avid hunter and fisherman. He coached Little League Baseball for Charles Town- Ranson Baseball Associa- tion. He is survived by his son, Robert W. Dodson Jr. and wife, Melissa, of Middleway; daughter, Stephanie Dodson Hostler and husband, Timo- thy, of Middleway; grandchil- dren, Jenna Marie Dodson, Allison Taylor Dodson, Tori Perdue and Paige Perdue; step-grandchildren, Timothy Hostler Jr. and Alexa Hostler; sister, Ruth Dillow and hus- band, Edgar, of Ranson; and several nieces and nephews. in addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 47 years, Sharon L. (Dutrow) Dodson, who died Feb. 8, 2018. Services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, at Zion Episcopal Church, 301 E. Congress St Charles Town, with the Rev. Frank Coe and Dr. Henry Christie officiating. Interment will be at Pleas- ant View Memory Gardens, Martinsburg. Friends will be received from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Melvin T. Strider Colonial Funeral Home. Please sign the online guest- book and view his obituary at www.mtstrider.com PAID MEMORIAL 'i:iiii ,j: ,Bronle :Marb'; Plaques ,Vases ii; ,Cemetery Engraving Service Serving the Tri-State Area since 1971 524 Fillmore Street o P.O. Box 216, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425 (304) 535-2278 email: jcm0numentl@a01.c0m Since1918 EACKLES-SPENCER & NORTON FUNERAL HOME Family Owned & Operated Rte. 340 at Halltown Rd. Charles Town/Harpers Ferry West Virginia Alan H. Norton Robert L. Spencer (Licensee) (Licensee-In-Charge) 304.724.6500 www.eackles-spencerfuneralhome.com