Sunday, March 29, 2015

Missouri Governor Nixon is Putting Libraries in Peril

Missouri’s public libraries are in trouble. Big trouble. Missouri’s governor, Jay Nixon, is withholding the vast majority of state funding from its public libraries.

Last year, the Missouri House and Senate debated and eventually passed a budget for 2015. The governor then signed this budget. This approved budget allocated $3.5 million to public libraries. It also allocated $3.1 million for Internet and digital services for libraries. Of that $6.6 million, Governor Nixon has only released $724,000 and only to libraries serving communities of less than 40,000 people.

What’s more, the Missouri House and Senate are currently debating the budget for the next fiscal year and Governor Nixon has proposed ONLY $724,000 for libraries next year. For the Kansas City Public Library alone, the cuts remove $100,000 from their annual budget. This will lead to reduced collections and reduced staffing. Smaller libraries will feel this budgetary pinch even worse.

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