With only about two months on the job, Ashlee Kiel is still learning all aspects of her role as director of the Meyersdale Public Library.
According to the state library code, a local chapter must come up with $5 per resident within its service area. The Meyersdale Public Library has 19,000 who live within its region, so the target number is approximately $95,000.
Pennsylvania Library Association Executive Director Christi Buker said the public library subsidy was approximately $75 million in 2007-08. It was reduced to $60 million in 2009-10, and to $53 million in 2010-11, when it has remained level ever since — a 30-percent overall reduction since 2007 for the state’s 456 public libraries, their branches and their bookmobiles.
“Libraries took a huge funding cut,” Buker said. “We currently have not made any significant progress to get back to that area. None of them have really recovered fully from there.”
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