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Originally published: 2013-04-09 15:15:47
Last modified: 2013-04-09 15:15:47

A message from your AMY Regional Library director

Dr. Dan Barron / (news@averyjournal.com)

Editor’s note: The Avery Journal-Times is an advocate for our local library system, the Avery-Mitchell-Yancey Regional Library System. Having already maintained top-quality service to local residents despite several rounds of funding cuts, the AMY Regional Library System is facing even more reductions in funds. With that in mind, The AJT asked AMY Regional Library Director Dr. Dan Barron to share with readers how crucial funding sources are to library services, as well as to share information on the local impact of the library system.
In the past five years, we have lost 22 percent of our state funding. State funding accounts for more than 45 percent of our service budget to residents in our three counties. Without state funds, two of our libraries would have no book budget at all. We have had to cut our Outreach Librarian position and shift much reduced services over to the Bookmobile Librarian. We are making it work, but homebound, physically handicapped and some children’s services have suffered.
What is depressing about budget cuts is that for every tax dollar spent for libraries in our three counties, our residents get from $4 to $7 return in direct services. This includes helping people to find and apply for jobs, providing early literacy books and programs that help children get ready for school, working with other nonprofit and government agencies to increase human services and offering much needed high speed internet services for more than 130,000 users each year.

To read the complete story, please pick up a copy of your hometown newspaper, The Avery Journal-Times, available at almost 100 locations in Newland, Banner Elk, Crossnore, Spruce Pine and Roan Mountain, Tenn. To subscribe to The Avery Journal-Times, please call (828) 733-0401 or click to https://ssl.jonesmedia.biz/circ/index.php?db=avery.