Li­brary to re­ceive state money

The Covington News - - N0, - Gabriel Khouli gkhouli@cov­

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.

File photo / The Cov­ing­ton News

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