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Library funding slashed by state

The local library budget outlook isn’t as rosy as board members had hoped. On Tuesday they learned they would be fighting an uphill battle from the start since the county libraries will be receiving more than $21,788 less from the Library of Virginia.

Library Director Joe Zappacosta said he will be asking local governments to help pick up the slack as he shared with board members Tuesday afternoon what he projects the upcoming 2013-14 library budget to look like.

During the board’s monthly meeting, the library director said, “We’re getting $98,736 from the state, and that is a decrease of $21,788.” 

According to Zappacosta his plan going forward is to request $192,000 from the county, $74,000 from South Boston and $11,000 from the Town of Halifax.

“That’ll get us even,” he added.

All budget requests are due to the county by Jan. 15.

In other business, Zappacosta gave the financial report and director’s report.

 At the end of December the library fund had raised $4,000, Zappacosta said.

According to the library director, overall circulation is up, but patron visits are down.

Zappacosta told board members a meeting was held Dec. 18 with the joint library advisorycommittee that is comprised of two members of the county board of supervisors, two representatives each from South Boston and Halifax town councils. Zappacosta and Library Board Chairman Bee Espy, County Administrator Jim Halasz and Halifax Town Manager Carl Espy participated in the meeting.

“It was more a fact finding, feeling out the purpose (meeting). Nothing was decided,” said Zappacosta. “There was some discussion of doing a study.” 

The library director vowed to keep board members up to date on the committee’s discussions.

Board members approved a policy change for holidays and approved the calendar for this year.

The next meeting will be held Feb. 12 at 4:30 p.m. at the Halifax County Public Library.