State agencies continue to feel the budget squeeze as the next fiscal year approaches July 1st. As MPB's Mark Rigsby reports, the Mississippi Library Commission is making plans to absorb a $1,000,000 budget cut that will trickle down to local libraries.
Libraries statewide will receive less money from the Personnel Incentive Grant Program. It helps fund salaries and benefits for library workers.
"Well, we've taken a very serious look at our budget," says Susan Cassagne, Executive Director of the state library commission. She says local libraries will be forced to make changes.
"They may have to reduce hours. The reality is that some of them may have to eliminate staff," says Cassagne.
"Do you anticipate some libraries closing?"
"I would like to say that I certainly hope not," says Cassagne.
Henry Ledet is Director of the Lincoln Lawrence Franklin Regional Library in Brookhaven. He says his library will take a $25,000 hit, which means fewer books in the collection and possibly cutting back on electronic services.
"It's going to be difficult. We are going to have to make some cuts, but we're hoping they won't affect our users any," says Ledet.
"How important is your library in the community?"
"Well, as far as I'm concerned we're absolutely essential," says Ledet.
According to the library commission, libraries in Mississippi had 9,000,000 visits in 2015. Cassagne says each local library system's administrative board will determine how to handle having less money to operate with next year.