Governor Nixon is trying to defund Missouri libraries to the tune of $6 million per year.This could cause cutbacks to library collections, services and staff that will be felt by citizens all across the state. Some library locations may have to restrict hours or close entirely.
“It is hereby declared to be the policy of the state to promote the establishment and development of free public libraries and to accept the obligation of their support by the state and its subdivisions and municipalities in such manner as may be provided by law. When any such subdivision or municipality supports a free library, the general assembly shall grant aid to such public library in such manner and in such amounts as may be provided by law.”
Missouri Constitution, Article IX (Education), Section 10
What's at risk?
Summer reading programs
Gov. Nixon’s proposed 2015-16 budget would eliminate funding for summer programs that are critical in bridging students from one school year to the next.
Youth developing reading skills
Kids who need a safe place within their community when school is not in session
Last year, Missourians used 7.6 million public library-provided computer sessions to complete job applications, take college courses and build technology skills. Withholdings and potential cuts in MOREnet (the Missouri Research and Education Network) would increase libraries’ connection costs, as much as tripling them in rural areas – where in many cases, libraries are the lone source of free, high-speed Internet service.
Missourians who don't have Internet access at home
Rural communities with limited internet access
Federal funds and grants
Funding through the federal Library Services and Technology Act supports summer reading and technology projects at a number of Missouri libraries, and is contingent on matching state funds. State money also is used to leverage federal grants and other funding
State of MO - leaves federal matching money on the table
Residents - fewer resources available (books, classes, databases, etc.)
The framers of Missouri’s constitution understood: An investment in the state’s libraries is an investment in its people. Tell our leaders to support and fund our public libraries.