State aid has been eliminated from the House budget. If this budget passes as written, it will affect every public library in the state. Please read below and take action!
For Hopkins County, which is not a taxing district, state aid makes up approximately 30% of our total resources and programming budget. This money is used for such things as children’s books and other items that are checked out. It also helps pay for online resources, like educational databases, preschool literacy, and adult programming including beginning computer classes.
The Hopkins County-Madisonville Public Library has recently experienced cuts of around $55,000 due to the Hopkins County local governments’ budget challenges that has forced drastic cuts to operating hours and resources.
Barring any changes, an additional loss of $24,000 in state aid, on top of these prior cuts, will have a devastating effect on library operations and will likely result in even more cuts to materials, hours of operation, and/or staff.
Please call or email your state senators! Include Sen. Chris McDaniel, chair of the Appropriations Committee. Here is the hotline number: 1-800-372-7181. Email addresses can be looked up by county here: https://legislature.ky.gov/Legislators/senate.
Not sure what to say? Here’s a script you can use (shared by the director of the Kenton County Public Library):
“State aid to libraries has been eliminated from the House budget. Public Libraries receive support from the Commonwealth through State Aid. In the current fiscal year, this totaled $2.5 million and is divided among each of the library districts. If state aid is not restored, a number of library districts will close, other will have to drastically cut their services, resources and hours. Please restore state aid to the budget.”
Or, feel free to use your own words. But please, make the call. Send the email. And share this information with your friends and encourage them to do the same!