Librarians ask WV legislature for $10 million to repair and upgrade libraries in the state

West Virginia
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February 07 2021 06:00 pm

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – The West Virginia Library Commission is asking West Virginia legislators again for $10 million to repair and upgrade libraries in the state.

In 2018, the Legislature approved a $10 million library building fund to make improvements, but they never put the money into the fund.

Cabell County Public Library Director, Judy Rule said, “we don’t expect that to be spent in a years time, but it will allow libraries to go ahead and plan for fixing leaking roofs, it’s for majors things that need to be done to libraries that there’s just not local funding for.”

Monday night, the commission celebrated “Library Appreciation Day” at the Capitol to raise awareness on the libraries’ needs.

This year’s campaign is “Books, Building and Broadband”.

Kanawha County Public Library IT Manager, Teddy Claypool said, “West Virginia is sort of a broadband desert, the definitions of highspeed internet are just continuing to go up as more and more becomes available, but due to the geography and sort of the nature in West Virginia we have issues sometimes even getting lines to where people can get access to reliable consistent internet.”

The funding they are asking for comes out of the state’s budget and needs to be approved first by the Senate Finance Committee.

State Sen. Rollan Roberts (R-Raleigh) said, “Well, I can guarantee not only the library folks but everybody else who’s wanting appropriations for money that there’s a long line, there are limited funds and that probably there’s a desire to help libraries, there’s no doubt about that.”

If granted the money, it would be used to repair library buildings, purchase more books and strengthen internet and technological services.

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