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LETTERS / Funding Cut to Boone Public Library

Dear Editor,

I am terribly dismayed that the Boone Town Council has cut funding for all materials for youth services at the public library to just $5000.00 for 2012. (June 21 “10 Speak for Library”) Even this amount seems too much for some on the council, who would rather not give the library anything!

According to North Carolina State Library objectives, state funds are to “stimulate or leverage local support” and that “the local level will maintain its support” for public libraries. NC State funds represent 14% of the library budget; the Town of Boone has provided between $10,000 and $15,000 per year, 1% of total funding, solely for the youth collection!

Now this 1% is to be reduced to less! Boone’s library currently has 18,926 active card holders, 57% of whom live in Boone. In 2010-2011, 85,000 juvenile books, DVDs, etc. circulated! This shows that the library is an alive, active and necessary service to our town!

Average costs for children’s literature range from $27.04 for a young adult hardback (1) to $7.25 for a paperback. Five thousand dollars will not go very far at this rate to provide new books for our youth to read, for free if I may remind you! If one calculates one-fourth of library users as young people, then 5000 youth will be able to choose from less than 400 new books!

Our library is a wonderful, active place – in June of this year, on average, 600 people used it per day! It isn’t hard to understand how quickly the youth services section will deteriorate with this current level of non-support. If you love the library, I urge you to contact someone on the Town Council and let them know how important it is for our youth to have good, new books to read. Thank you. 

Maggie Christenbury