Sun
May 19 2019
09:17:am

On May 14, 2019, the Maryville Daily Times reports that "The Blount County Public Library needs local governments to kick in an extra $372,676 or it could lose up to 10 employees and put library programs, services and operating hours in jeopardy — turning the library into a “building with books,” library officials said."
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A decrease in part- and full-time staff would force the library’s operating hours to shrink, annulling a contract with the state and effectively cutting off the library from $2.5 million in funding, Williams said.

A Daily Times follow-up article on May 19,2019, indicates the county and funding cities (Alcoa and Maryville) are working to raise some of the needed funds while also working on library budget cuts.
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"Each government currently contributes a set percentage to the library’s budget — Blount County 50%, Alcoa 10% and Maryville 40%."

In one of the articles, it is stated that Louisville, TN, has more library card holders than Alcoa, but does not contribute to the library's budget. That's kind of sad considering Louisville's population is just over 4,000 and Alcoa's population is more than double that at over 10,000. It is hard to know how good any of these numbers are since library Director K.C. Williams "provided The Daily Times with a library data report showing active card holder numbers from each funding body at 46,791 from Blount County, 25,628 from Maryville, and 5,387 from Alcoa." Thus, indicating Alcoa has to have more library card holders than Louisville, especially since the 5,387 number for Alcoa is larger than the entire population of Louisville.

“This is your county library,” Dick Burgess, president of the Blount County Friends of the Library, told commissioners. “It’s our hundredth year. Is this the year you want to destroy it?”

Let's hope they get this figured out. The Blount County Library is a great asset and needs to continue as is and possibly grow for the future.

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