State funding cutbacks have forced some central Pennsylvania libraries to slash hours and service at a time when residents need them the most.
Looking for low-cost entertainment, employment assistance and Internet access, people have turned to local libraries in record numbers. Sadly, they might soon find those resources scaled back because of money woes.
The 2009-10 state budget cut public library funding by 20 percent, or more than $15 million. Dauphin County libraries alone lost $400,000.
Library directors and their boards now must decide how to deal with the loss. Some facilities are reducing hours, eliminating programs and access to important resources, or charging fees for previously free services and materials.