Library to receive state money
The Newton County Library System will get state money this year, to the relief of local officials, though that funding will be 16 percent less than last year.
The library will receive $283,884 from the state, down from the $337,949 it received last year. Library Director Lace Keaton said the county isn't getting any state money for new books or materials.
That cut comes on top of an 18 percent reduction in local funding, from $1.11 million to $916,452, leaving the library system to operate two branches on a total $1.79 million budget. The library originally was hoping for a total of about $2.35 million to properly
operate both the Covington and Porter Memorial branches.
As a result of the cuts, the library is not planning to purchase any books or materials this year, Keaton said. Further cuts to hours, personnel or programs will be decided during the next month and throughout the year, she said.
"(Cuts) will probably be a progressive thing. We're evaluating all the options," she said Friday morning. "We're exploring the option of having fundraising events in the community for materials."
The library board of trustees will meet next at 9 a.m., Aug. 4 at the Covington Branch Library.
Newton library officials had worried that their library system might lose all state funding, because the state won’t support systems where local funding for libraries is cut.
Despite the fact the library is receiving $200,000 less in total local funding in fiscal year 2012, that’s not technically a cut, because the library received a onetime transfer last year of $300,000 to run the Porter Memorial branch. If that funding is not counted, then the library is actually getting $100,000 more.
The library board agreed that was twisted accounting, but were happy to keep the state support.