The times are a'changing, and libraries are in some cases struggling to keep up. The Lyon County Libraries Trustee Meeting Monday addressed that issue, tracing it back to one bigger issue across the board.
Funding has been a problem of recent, especially for the Emporia Public Library. Director Sue Blechl says one change that will help is eliminating the Lyon County Library Contract: a document dating back to 1966, which set ratios for how much money each library would get from the county. Blechl says it's an outdated formula, where 82 percent of the funding came from the city, while only 6.6 percent came from the county.
The trustees from the different Lyon County libraries discussed how to present their funding requests to the county commission, with commissioners in attendance reminding them of the challenges of "dividing the pie."
County Commissioner Dan Slater said the commission believes in libraries, and the need for libraries remains strong as time marches on.
Because local tax dollars would be used, Slater said commissioners need justification from the library trustees on why they would need more money, and what it would be used for. The city of Emporia put about $1 million into library services last year. City commissioner Danny Giefer says meetings like this are important.
Each library board will discuss their terms separately, and meet again in June to review their funding needs.