By Susan Redden
Three libraries in the region will share in nearly $32,000 in state funds for services and programs, according to an announcement from the office of Jason Kander, Missouri secretary of state.
The Barry-Lawrence County Regional Library will receive $16,936, with $8,830 to go to the Dade County Library and $5,500 to the Barton County Library.
The service and programming funds can be used to meet a variety of local needs, such as materials for the library collection, equipment, database licenses, technology and capital projects.
During the 2011 fiscal year, 30 percent of all service and programming funds were used to upgrade library collections, including e-books, according to statistics from the state office. Twenty percent were used to make capital and building improvements, including those for ADA accessibility, and another 19 percent were used for technology upgrades. The funding is in addition to state grants for technology services.
“Libraries are vital resources. The access to knowledge they provide though literature, technology and public service is indispensable,” Kander said.
Programming funds for libraries are provided under the State Aid Equalization program and are directed to county libraries where economic factors limit support from local resources. The funds are awarded annually in February. This year, 55 separate awards totaling nearly $772,000 were disbursed through the Missouri State Library in the secretary of state’s office.
Missouri state law specifies that half of the state funding go to libraries based on a per-capita allocation, with the remainder going to libraries that are in areas considered economically challenged.
The Barry-Lawrence County Library is based in Monett, with branch libraries in Mount Vernon, Aurora and Cassville. The Barton County Library has locations in Lamar, Liberal and Golden City, and the Dade County Library is in Greenfield.