Gov. Greitens spending plan could cut funding to public librarie - KMOV.com

Gov. Greitens spending plan could cut funding to public libraries

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

Less access to books and the internet could be on the chopping block for area libraries, if Gov. Eric Greitens gets his way.

Under Greiteins’ $27.6 billion spending blueprint, $3 million would be cut from all 360 public libraries across the state.

Greitens recommended cutting about $3 million from public libraries. However, the reduction places Missouri’s libraries at risk of losing another $3 million in federal funding.

Area library officials said rural Missouri libraries will get hit the hardest, but it’s not looking good for them either.

“I think it’s scary that we might not have as much as we need for them,” said University City librarian Christa Van Herreweghe. “It seems like a very bad idea, in the way that we want kids to be prepared to go to school, we want kids to be prepared to learn. Libraries are a huge support for that preschool age.”

Herreweghe said $11,000 could be cut from University City’s library, meaning less access to books for kids in their early literacy program.

University City isn’t the only library affected, Kirkwood is too.

“So I think that it’s just as important to remember when you think about these cuts could have a big impact on the people who come daily to use our computers, people in the midst of their job searches,” said Kirkwood Library director Sarah Erwin.

Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s office operates the state library, Erwin saud Ashcroft plans to push lawmakers to find money, so it doesn’t affect public libraries. 

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