County considers cuts for Greensboro library
…Chairman Melvin “Skip” Alston already has declared it a year of belt-tightening, as the county tries to do more with less.
One place where that idea rings the loudest: the hushed halls of the Greensboro Public Library.
…To provide that free, wide-ranging service, the library depends on money from the state, the city of Greensboro and Guilford County. But last year, the county cut its appropriation to the library by $350,000 — a cut so deep that the city of Greensboro had to make up the difference.
With the economy recovering slowly and the county deeply in debt, another such cut could be coming.
“My opinion is the city should be paying for the entire thing,” said Steve Arnold, vice chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners. “I think it’s a city function, and we should just let them do it.”
…Last year, the county gave the library $1.77 million. That’s more than the state’s contribution of $297,303 but far less than Greensboro’s $5.9 million. And that’s less than the library thinks is equitable.
…Commissioner Linda Shaw said she’s been a library advocate for years and always hates to cut funding. This year, though, she said it might be necessary.
“There are a lot of our citizens — especially children — who depend on the libraries,” Shaw said. “But if we have to choose between funding for that and funding for the health department, I would have to choose to cut the library funding. We’re finding out we just can’t afford to do some of the things we would have two or three years ago.”