The Philippi Public Library Board of Trustees asked the Barbour County Commission for additional tax-based funding for the library this week.
Judy Buckner Larry, the director of the Philippi Public Library, said the bulk of funding to public libraries from the state is through the West Virginia Library Commission. Because of a change to the state's administrative rules for public libraries two years ago, the Philippi Public Library and other officially recognized public libraries are required to match at least 50 percent of those funds received from the state with a local share. Local funds can be raised by methods such as late fees and fund-raisers.
"We need additional tax-based funds from the City of Philippi, the County Commission and the county Board of Education, as well as the money we receive from fees, donations and fundraisers," Larry read from a letter addressed to commissioners .
Larry has attended Philippi City Council, Barbour County Board of Education and Barbour County Commission meetings to request additional funding. Larry said during Monday's commission meeting that if the Board of Education's levy is passed, it could help supplement additional funding.
According to the letter Larry read, the City of Philippi provides enough funding to match the library's 50 percent minimum requirement. For the past two years, Larry said the county commission has given the library $2,500 per year, and the county school board has given $1,000 per year.
"The library provides necessary resources for the public and, unfortunately, it is the less fortunate residents who must rely on public libraries the most for books and other services and programs," Larry said.
Commissioner Tim McDaniels told Larry that when the budget is completed in January, he would check to see if additional funding is available.
Commission President Phil Hart showed support for the funding.
"We won't let you lose that aid as long as it is in our power, as long as I'm here," Hart said.
According to the letter, the Belington Public Library receives additional funding from the county commission because the library could not match its 50 percent minimum requirement.
"The bottom line is that we would like even distribution," Caroline Jett, president of the library's board of trustees, said.