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Cash donation system to Glendale libraries changed after audit

August 08, 2012
(Times Community…)

A nonprofit that has donated $50 per month to library sites throughout the city has halted the tradition because the money was at risk of being lost, stolen or misappropriated.

Prompted by recommendations in a city audit, Friends of the Glendale Public Library stopped donating the cash last month. Instead, the nonprofit is rolling the money into the tens of thousands of dollars the organization donates to cover needed items outlined by library officials at the beginning of each year.

Friends of the Glendale Public Library gave $8,400 in $50 chunks to library sites, in addition to $24,000 to pay for summer reading supplies and other programs, in fiscal year 2011-12.

“It really made more sense in terms of monitoring the money,” Libraries Director Cindy Cleary said this week, referring to the recommendations in the audit.

No money has been lost or stolen; the change is a preemptive measure, Cleary said.

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As a result of an administrative investigation into the delinquent processing of library invoices, the city’s internal auditor reviewed other library practices, including the monthly donations. City officials refused to release information about the administrative investigation because the matter involves “personnel issues.”

Other recommendations in the audit include giving receipts whenever cash is collected and logging invoices in a spreadsheet as soon as they are received.

This fiscal year, which began last month, the Friends of the Glendale Public Library has set aside about $27,000 for the library system, Cleary said. All the money has been earmarked for needed items, with no money planned for monthly donations.

The nonprofit had less money to give this year due to sluggish sales at its for-sale book program, Cleary said.

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