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Library stuggles to make ends meet

Reported by: Jessica Albert
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Updated: 2/20/2014 11:11 pm
NEW ALBANY, Miss. (WTVA) -- There's not a lack of activity at the Union County Library.

On busy days, it will see about 200 people.

There are regulars who are there for reading.

"I like the library because I want to pick out books," New Albany resident Teddi Rose said.

There are also those who stop in for different reasons.

"[I] do my schoolwork because I don't have internet at home," Sirwanda Luellen said.

Luellen spends about three hours at the library every day taking online classes.

Little does she know, her study spot is having financial troubles.

Costs for the library rise every year making it hard to maintain it, meaning that there is less money to buy materials.

Library Director Kay Sappington said their budget for books has gone down from $35,000 to $11,000 over the last few years.

"So when there's a cut, that's where it's cut," Sappington said. "We're going to get fewer books."

She said with technology changing, the library had to stretch even further by adding more services, like e-books, to its inventory.

"[It was] just more than we could handle," Sappington said. "We did do it though, but we're struggling to hang on to it."

Sappington said it costs around $25,000 to keep the library open each month.

"Right now, I've got checks written for all the bills, but I'm holding them to be sure that we can make payroll," Sappington said.

She said she applies for grants and keeps hoping the library staff will come out on top each month.

"I think everybody loves the library," Sappington said. "Maybe they take it for granted, but they expect it to be here, and I can't imagine Union County letting it go under."
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