May 26, 2022

Arkansas: State Budget Cuts Force Pope County Libraries to Reduce Hours, Cut Book Budget

From The Courier Online:

A slash in state funding for libraries prompted many changes in the Pope County Library System (PCLS).

Shawn Pierce, PCLS director, explained the cuts at an Aug. 19 meeting of the Pope County Library Board. Areas of PCLS affected by decreased funds include the book budget, part-time salaries, hours of operation, computer purchases and staff training.

Pierce said the cuts were caused when the Arkansas Legislature cut the funding for 400 libraries in the state by $1 million to help replace the state’s “rainy day fund.” The way public libraries are listed in the Arkansas budget is listed under “Grants for Public Libraries,” Pierce said. She said the name of the fund is misleading, so the legislators thought that it was a competitive grant rather than an important line item for library funding.


To make up the shortfall, spending on book purchases will be reduced by $10,000 in 2015. In 2016, the book budget will be decreased by $15,198.

The reduction in the book line item will affect both book purchases and a cancellation of a children’s TumbleBooks database subscription. The system’s book collection “turned over” 2.5 times in 2014 with 297,000 circulations of the 119,000. At a value of $25 per checkout, PCLS saved the citizens of Pope County $7.42 million dollars in book purchases alone.

Read the Complete Article

Visit the Pope County Library System Website

See Also: Facts and Stats About Pope County, AR (via U.S. Census)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.