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Several people have asked me lately whether the budget crisis in state government has affected the library's finances.  The answer is "yes", but not too drastically.  Here are a few facts to make that clearer.

Public library services in South Carolina are primarily funded by local tax dollars.  Over 86% of the Fairfield County Library's budget last fiscal year came from local sources.  Those dollars pay for staff, books and other materials, and for operating costs such as utilities and office supplies.

We do receive state funding which is distributed on a per capita basis.  Each across-the-board cut in Columbia has decreased the per capita allocation for public libraries.  For a brief, shining moment State Aid per capita was $2.00.  Budget cuts have now reduced that to $1.25. 

Fairfield County Library lost over $4,000.00 in the first across-the-board cut.  After that we hit the minimum grant level of $40,000.00.  The State Aid legislation guarantees that no library will receive less than that amount, so the successive cuts have not reduced our allocation. While not a large percentage of our overall budget, State Aid is crucial to our services because we spend 100% of it on books, audio-visual materials, periodical subscriptions, and computer databases and equipment.

In the coming battle over how to allocate scarce state resources, it will be important for library supporters to explain to legislators that State Aid to Public Libraries provides vital services in their communities.

As always, feel free to reach me at the library by phone (635-4971) or by email (sarah@fairfield.lib.sc.us).

Just for Kids
  • Come to Family Nights on January 2nd, February 6th,and March 6th at 7:00 p.m.
  •  Remember the Winter Story Hour Series will be every Tuesday afternoon in February at 4:00 p.m.
Cat on a stack of books.
  • Celebrate Dr. Seuss's Birthday on Saturday, March 1 by dropping by for cake and stories between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon at the Main Library.  Until then, check out your favorite Dr. Seuss stories to read at home!
  • Pick up the latest brochure for 2002-2003 Children's Activities at the library now.
Child care workers during workshop.
Child care workers listen attentively during workshop on discipline.
Child Care Workers Receive Training
The Fairfield County Library and the Distance Education Learning Center of the Fairfield County School District have teamed up to offer continuing education credits to child care workers in Fairfield County. 
Lynn Wells,  Community Services Librarian, and Frankie O'Neal, Director of the DELC Center, are handling the logistics of offering a five-part series of satellite broadcasts from Pennsylvania Pathways,  a program at Penn State University.  The series has been approved for continuing education credits which all child care workers must obtain each year. Topics covered include, discipline, what a child needs to know before starting school, activities for learning math, and active time/quiet time transitions.  One of the five programs is especially designed for child care center directors and will cover recruiting, hiring, and training staff.
There are three workshops remaining in the series on March 20th, April 10th, and May 8th.  For more information or to register for a workshop, call Lynn Wells at the library.

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