#1 in Pennsylvania
The Cumberland County Library System is the busiest county library system in Pennsylvania. Residents borrowed more than 2.6 million items in 2012.
More than 7,100 youth registered for the summer reading program in 2013. Studies show that this program stops kids from sliding as much as 3 months behind when they start school in the fall.
Can You Afford $0.43 More?
Cumberland County’s Commissioners have denied the Cumberland County Library System Board’s request to increase the county library tax in 2014 by an average annual amount of $0.43 per person or $0.78 per household. The request was made on November 20, 2014. One day later, the Commissioners unanimously denied the request.
The increase would have allowed your library to sustain operations, providing new books, technology, and other services without making further service cuts or dipping heavily into dwindling reserves. Projections show that all reserve funds for operating expenses will be exhausted by 2016-17.
Last Tax Increase 10 Years Ago
Since the last tax increase 10 years ago, the library system set aside some funds in anticipation of financial downturns. However, since the recession, the library system has used these funds to maintain operations in addition to making significant service cuts.
$2.2 Million in State Support Cut
This is caused by many factors. Chief among them is the loss of more than $2.2 million in state funds. Also, Cumberland County’s re-classification from a 4th to 3rd class county will cut the state’s support 40% more.
This will make a difficult situation even worse. Already, cuts have meant that libraries are open fewer hours than 10 years ago. Staffing levels have been reduced. Libraries are also spending 6% less on new library materials than 10 years ago.
Increased Library Use
We know that the recession has taken its toll, especially on many families’ finances. This has resulted in increased library use — 6% more just last year. This shows that even in the digital age, libraries provide essential services - books, technology and learning for everyone to freely use.
Please Contact the County Commissioners
Please consider contacting the Cumberland County Commissioners to let them know if this small increase is worth it to help your library provide services that help kids get a good start in school, supply families with low-cost entertainment, and give job-seekers and others Internet access.
Understand the Facts Background Information
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