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Reduction in state aid causes Tyrone-Snyder library to adopt new procedures

Effective July 1, the Tyrone-Snyder Public Library has adopted new procedures as a direct result of a 50 percent reduction in state aid to public libraries.
According to library director Lynn Nearhoof, when Governor Tom Ridge took office, he became aware of an article that compared libraries across the United States and ranked Pennsylvania libraries at the bottom of the list because of lack of funding and hours opened. It was then that Governor Ridge decided to turn the libraries in the state around by offering more funding over a three-year period if the libraries would be open more hours and hire more staff.
After Governor Ridge left office, Ed Rendell was appointed the new governor of Pennsylvania. Governor Rendell has cut state aide to public libraries, which affects Tyrone-Snyder Public Library and other libraries across the state.
What it means for Tyrone-Snyder Public Library is for this fiscal year, there will be $21,010 less money in the budget than last year. Last year’s budget was $113,000, and with the project cuts, this yearís budget will be $91,099.
Nearhoof said the only way to balance the budget for this year was to cut 10 hours a week out of the library’s schedule, eliminate two part-time positions of six hours a week each, and change the telecommunications provider of the library to save $250 a month for Internet and telephone use. Also, fines were increased for overdue books, computer printouts and copies from the copy machine.
Nearhoof said the library did not have to cut any special programs. The state still provides funds through the Family Literacy Program for the summer reading programs. Also, she added the last item the library would ever cut would be materials for children.
The budget for books or audio books on tape has not been cut too much because Nearhoof said she understands that the economy is in trouble right now, and so that is when the public needs the services of the library the most.
People cannot afford to buy books all of the time, especially childrenís books that can be read fast. Also, books for adults average at about $25 a book for fiction and $30 a book for non-fiction.
Nearhoof also wanted to stress the cuts are from the operating budget and not from the new library account. The cuts have nothing to do with the new library building.
Also, Tyrone-Snyder Library is part of the Blair County Library System. Libraries across Blair County are trying to work together to provide the same amount of service to the public. For example, when one library is closed, another library will try to be open.
Plus, the public is supporting the public library system in Pennsylvania. Many people have written to their local legislators asking to reinstate the funding to public libraries.
Nearhoof said it would take awhile for everybody to find out about the changes. Also, she said that people are upset about the cuts in funding, and the public is behind the library.
The new hours for the Tyrone-Snyder Library are: Monday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesday, 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday, 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The new fees for the library are: fines for children’s books, $.10 per day; adult books, $.20 per day; magazines, $.05 day; video rentals, $.75 for two days.
The service charges are: copier, $.20 per page and computer printout, and $.20 per page.
All other fees remain the same. For example, a fax is $2 for the first page, and $1 for each following page. Maximum fines for a child is $5, and adult is $10. Lost or damaged books equal the cost of the book, and lost or damaged magazines equal the cost of the magazine.
Also, the July and August summer reading programs will now be held at the First Presbyterian Church on 13th St. and Logan Ave. in the basement social room for July 10, July 22 and August 7.