(AP) A new Oklahoma City library that’s opening its doors to the public Friday is taking a page from other regional libraries that have been struggling to make money.
The new Oklahoma Library District will have a full-time executive director and a full staff of about 30 people, according to the library’s website.
It also will open a mobile application for libraries to access the library, which has a limited number of books and limited resources, and will provide a library-wide smartphone app.
The district’s board voted unanimously to open its doors Friday and said in a news release that the goal is to bring more libraries to the community.
“We have some really exciting plans for the district,” board chair Kevin McCarty said.
“We are going to be expanding the library services and we are going have some big new programs.”
The district has about 3,400 books and more than 3,000 digital files, including about 2,000 audio files and about 700 videos.
It will offer online access to all of the library material.
The library will have about 30 full- and part-time staff, according the news release.
The full-timers will be part of the district’s newly formed regional library board, which will serve as the regional agency responsible for the overall operations of the regional library system.
The regional library is one of the most financially troubled in the country, with the district facing a $10 million deficit and declining enrollment.
The districts board voted to hire the new full-timer, who will be based in Oklahoma, to be its regional director.
It was unclear how many people would be on the board when the district opens.
The agency’s executive director, Rebecca Tisch, has spent the last eight years as the executive director of the Tulsa Public Library.
She took over the district in January after the Tulsa City Library Board was closed because of the financial crisis.
Tisch was in the midst of a $1.5 million salary increase, which was approved by the district board.
She was also asked to resign, but said she didn’t resign because she was tired of dealing with the financial problems.
The Oklahoma Library Board will serve the district for the next three years.
The board was established to create an independent entity that will oversee the operations of libraries and provide oversight for libraries’ finances.