Local libraries keeping an eye on proposed budget cut to public library funding

Published: Mar. 31, 2023 at 3:49 AM CDT
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QUINCY (WGEM) - Missouri lawmakers are debating whether to eliminate state funding for public libraries. Currently, that funding totals $4.5 million.

Staff at Marion County Library Sub District One, say if that were to come to pass, smaller libraries would be affected.

Treasurer Jerry Trower said they get around $11,000 from the state a year, which can make up four to five percent of their budget.

He said the money is good to have on hand, though the support of grants, and the county taxes help are very supportive.

“The people of Marion County really support this library and they have shown through the tax that we started a number of years ago, really is about what about one book would cost you if you went to a library,” Trower said.

He said grants they apply and receive, both from state and to private organizations can make up 10% of their budget, while taxes cover the rest.

He said the state money is good to have as they are able to use it to support programs at the library.

Director Devon Payne said state funding helps support their programs for children, and adults as well. She says they just recently started a seed garden for adults. She also said many people use the library for the free Wi-Fi and computer access, which includes students, families and people doing work.

Payne said they are keeping an eye on their funding situation.

“As of right now we are not needing to adjust anything for that. So, you know it’s kinda something that we’re just gonna have to take if it comes and then reevaluate once that happens. You know, we are not planning on needing to readjust any programming as of now,” Payne said.

She said if state funding gets cut, they’ll adjust as needed.

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