How Lexington stacks up to other libraries

April 26, 2009 

Lexington Public Library

Service-area population: 268,080

Annual budget: $15 million

Executive director's salary: $137,035

Credit card policy: The executive director and 19 others get credit cards that they use to pay for travel, meals, gifts, special events, materials and other expenses. The chairman of the library board of trustees announced recently that he will begin reviewing the executive director's credit card expenses.


Louisville Free Public Library

Service-area population: 699,827

Annual budget: $20 million

Executive director's salary: $118,224

Credit card policy: The library handles its purchases directly, and the executive director does not get a credit card, a spokeswoman said.


Madison, Wis., Public Library

Service-area population: 264,688

Annual budget: $12 million

Executive director's salary: $143,432

Credit card policy: The executive director gets a credit card but may use it only with the approval of the mayor. A library representative said that the director seldom flies and that her mileage reimbursement for 2008 was $476.


St. Charles, Mo., City-County Library District

Service-area population: 283,883

Annual budget: $16 million

Executive director's salary: $118,452

Credit card policy: The executive director does not get a credit card, a spokeswoman said, although the library's business office keeps two cards that can be used with permission to buy materials.


Stark County District Library, Canton, Ohio

Service-area population: 258,311

Annual budget: $14 million

Executive director's salary: $103,500

Credit card policy: The executive director gets a credit card, but it can be used only for meals and ground transportation at conferences, and those charges must be approved through purchase orders, according to the library's fiscal officer. Airfare, hotels and registration for conferences are arranged by the library's business office. The card cannot be used for entertainment, gifts or local meals.


Johnson County Library, Kansas City, Kan.

Service-area population: 395,228

Annual budget: $19 million

Executive director's salary: $125,454

Credit card policy: The library gives the executive director a procurement card exclusively to buy materials for the library, a spokeswoman said. Separately, the non-profit Friends of Johnson County Library uses donated money to provide a credit card that the executive director may use for work-related meals and events so that tax money is not spent, a spokeswoman said.

John Cheves and Linda Blackford

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