Official: People Rallied ‘Round to Restore Library Funds, Reverse Effects of Cuts

The busy lobby of the Fulton Public Library, in a file photo from 2009.
The busy lobby of the Fulton Public Library, in a file photo from 2009.

Tuesday’s round of “yes” votes on school budgets was excellent news for Fulton’s Public Library.

In fact, people apparently felt so strongly about the library that the proposition to allow it to raise $170,000 from taxpayers passed by a larger margin than did the school budget and two other propositions on the ballot.

“I’m just thrilled,” said library Board President Marian Stanton, who admits she was very nervous before the results were announced.  “It’s a lot of money and things are tough but I think the people understood why we were asking for it.”

The library needed the money because its funding from the Fulton city budget was cut again this year.  The $80,000 increase in the library tax matched the $80,000 cut in the city budget.

The cuts from the city, which took effect in January, were severe enough that the library had to lay off staff and close on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Stanton said the yes vote will have an immediate effect.  The library will reopen this coming Tuesday for a 10 hour day and when the library receives its tax money from the school district come fall, it will reopen on Mondays as well.

She said she did not believe the library would be able to rehire the staff it had to lay off, but it was too early to say for sure.

The vote creates a permanent line of revenue for the library that will be immune to cuts from the city budget.  “It’ll keep our funding secure,” Stanton said.

She is grateful to the people who turned out to give the library a fresh chance at remaining a full-service institution.  “They rallied around us,” she said.