Mayor Asks Increased Library Funding; Councilman Says No PDF Print E-mail
News - Local News
Wednesday, 07 February 2018 19:11
An attempt to increase funding for the Summerville Library System encountered some resistance Monday night.
Summerville Mayor Harry Harvey said he wanted to increase the city's annual contribution to the library to $50,000. Councilman Joe Money Jr., objected.
"I think $45,000 is good enough," Money said.
He opposed giving the money because of the timing. The council was meeting Monday evening to adjust its budget at mid-year. 
"I don't think we ought to be adding anything to the budget at mid-year," Money said.
He said adjusting the budget at mid-year is to account for emergency purchases.
"The council cut the library's funding to $45,000. It was cut last year because we were trying to stay within our budget," Money said.
Although one councilman objects, the mayor said he's going to push for the additional funds and try to get the others to approve it.
"That's fine and I understand that. But I'm still going to push for $50,000. If we don't put it in the budget, I'm going to ask for another $5,000 at some other point. It's like I said, it's money well spent. It's money we need to have in our budget. If you and the council want to change that, fine. But I will make a formal request for an increase," Mayor Harvey said.
'And I will vote no," Money said.
"Well, that's your prerogative," the mayor said.
The mayor promised the library that he would request the additional funding this year.
"When I found out what the other municipalities and others are giving, we are one of the lower ones in the county people. As far as use of that library, I think we use it as much or more than anybody. Every time I go over there, somebody is at a computer," Harvey said. "Matter of fact I was over there Saturday working with a person on some things. I know there were five people on computers and the back rooms were being used for various things. I just feel that we need to increase that back to $50,000."
The majority of the library's funds come from:
* $81,000 from the county government
* $47,000 from Summerville
* $65,931.95 from Trion
* $7,000 from the County Board of Education
* $1,200 from the Town of Lyerly
* $1,265 from the city of Menlo
* $14,100 in overdue fines and other fees
* $9,000 in private donations
* $125,000 in state funding
Head librarian Susan Stephens said they need the additional money because usage is up.
"We really need it because we are kind of scraping by," Stephens said.
The library attracts 100-300 people every day it's open, Stephens said. During the last six months, the library allowed its computers to be used 2,725 times. Another 3,419 people connected their own devices to the library's wireless network for internet connectivity.
"A 100 people would be a slow day for us and 300 would be a busy day," Stephens said.
While the internet attracts some, it's the library's books, DVDs and audio books that are checked out the most. In the last six months, 20,471 people visited the library, Stephens said.

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March 31 @ noon
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