Pottsville Library in Danger of Losing More Funding

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POTTSVILLE -- A library in Schuylkill County is trying to figure out how to keep going with less money.

The Pottsville Library lost its funding from the school district, and now it's in danger of losing even more money.

This is another lingering domino effect of 2015's state budget stalemate.

The nine-month budget battle ended, with most school districts feeling shortchanged and underfunded. Now they are passing that along, to other entities that rely on money from the districts.

The library in downtown Pottsville is one of the most popular in Schuylkill County, but now it's a library trying to figure out its fate after losing a significant amount of money.

The Pottsville Area School District announced last month it couldn't give the library its usual yearly contribution of about $55,000.

"When you are starting out on a barebones budget, to lose a dollar hurts. To lose $55,000 really hurts!" said Library Director Nancy Smink.

Smink has dealt with budget cuts in the past but isn't sure how to deal with this one.

Those who run the library are at the point where they are already pinching every penny.

"We probably make Abe Lincoln scream on the penny for how tightly we squeeze that penny," she added.

$55,000 equates to about 12% of the budget at the library, and if that cut wasn't enough, it could potentially endanger more than 50% of the funding that comes from the state.

"The school district money, that also generates state aid. Within the standard we are required to have local financial effort," said Smink.

"It's a shame. We depend on it. These girls get books and movies. It's the summer time. What are kids suppose to do?" said Matthew Browers of Pottsville.

Not everyone has a computer, can afford internet, or even printing. Many people and families, like Matthew Browers, depend on the services the library provides.

Browers' wife is planning on writing a letter to the district, hoping officials there change their minds.

"Her mom is going to write a letter, she clipped the story out of the newspaper. I had to get a special newspaper for her. She is going to get involved," commented Browers.

Pottsville Library officials plan to attend a school board meeting next month to try and "sell" the importance of figuring out the funding for the library.

The library hasn't planned yet what it will have to cut if it doesn't receive district money.