UNION — The Union County Carnegie Library’s state legislative visit was on Wednesday, April 20, and Bill Rochester, Library Board of Trustees member, accompanied me on the visit.
The goal of the visit is to advocate for our library and public libraries across the state, and many public libraries across the state make similar legislative visits throughout the year to ensure that libraries continue to receive support from the state. While public libraries receive the majority of their funding from local government, the support from the state is crucial in places like Union County for us to continue to operate.
The funding requests made by all public libraries for the upcoming fiscal year include $1.50 per capita in library funding, $2 million in education lottery funding to be distributed throughout the state to libraries, and an additional $222,000 for the State Library to help fund DISCUS, which plays a significant role in K-12 education in the state. These requests have already been approved by the House and have been recommended to Senate by the Senate Finance Committee, on which all three of our senators serve. This request still needs to be approved by Senate as a whole, but we are optimistic as a result of the support we have received so far.
In addition to requesting continued funding support from the State, we also wanted to use this visit as an opportunity to thank our legislators for their hard work in securing us funding for our upcoming renovation. Our senators, Harvey Peeler, Shane Martin, and Ronnie Cromer, as well as our representative, Mike Anthony, have been very supportive of our efforts to provide Union County with access to a wide range of resources, and I was glad to have the opportunity to meet all of them. It is because of their efforts that our renovation is a reality.
We are thrilled to see this type of support at the state level and appreciate the efforts of our legislators. We are incredibly grateful for all of the support we have received locally as well, and we are hoping that this show of support will encourage other members of the community and local organizations to also invest in their library.
With the support of our community, the library can continue to provide quality service to all of Union County and continue to expand the ways that we serve the community. As we are approaching the final stages of planning for the library renovation project, we hope that we will see a continuation of this support on a local level to ensure that we are able to successfully complete this project and provide services to all members of the community.
If anyone is interested in partnering with or contributing to the Union County Carnegie Library, they are encouraged to reach out to the library, the Friends of the Library, or the Library Board of Trustees. We are looking forward to what we will be able to achieve in the community as a result of our partnerships and local investments.
Rieta Drinkwine is the Director of the Union County Carnegie Library.