Though Schlow Library has faced budget cuts in the past few years resulting in stresses on its services, this year's budget would not decrease the services anymore if passed as proposed.
Gov. Tom Corbett has proposed level funding for libraries in his 2013-14 budget, meaning the Schlow Library budget will not be further stressed, Library Director of Schlow Centre Region Library Cathi Alloway said.
“That is a great relief to me,” Alloway said. “In past years we got cut a lot.”
Schlow’s budget receives 22 percent of its funding from the state, 65 percent from the Centre Region Council of Governments, 8 percent from donations and 5 percent from fines and fees, Alloway said.
The highest amount of funding Schlow has received from the state was $623,283 in 2008, Alloway said. This year, the amount was down to $419,030, Alloway said.
“We’ve taken some really hard cuts and I think the governor has realized this,” Alloway said.
Corbett’s proposed 2013-14 budget would provide a total of $60.8 million for libraries, Pennsylvania Department of Education Press Secretary Tim Eller said.
“Governor Corbett is committed to ensuring that Pennsylvania citizens continue to have access to quality programs and services provided by community libraries across the commonwealth,” Eller said.
There will be no changes to the library’s operation for this year with the proposed state budget, Alloway said. The state money is given on the basis of a fiscal year, from July 1 to June 3 of the next year, but the library finances run on a calendar year, Alloway said. So, any changes to library operation that would result from state aid would start on July 1, Alloway said.
No deep cuts to services will occur because fundraising went well last year, Alloway said.
This year, fundraising will consist of the annual Spring fund drive, the autumn membership drive by Friends of Schlow Centre Region Library, among other things, Alloway said. Last year the library raised $185,000 from any and all donations, Alloway said.
However, the library budget is stressed now because it has to buy both print and e-book versions of a book when it comes out, Alloway said.
Publishers charge libraries about $25 for e-books instead of the $2 that individuals pay because the library will be renting the book out for multiple people to read, Alloway said.
If fundraising goes well this year, hopefully the library will be able to distribute more money to e-books, Alloway said, especially since use of print fiction has dropped a bit.
Schlow offers many different services to both State College residents and students alike.
“I like [the library] based on my first impressions,” State College resident Bill Holden said. “I’m impressed at how much they have considering the school has its own massive library and I’m thankful to have this resource.”
The selection of Spanish books is limited, Suzy Peevey (junior-community, environment and development) said, but it’s a great space to come and meet with the kids.
“I just use the kids Spanish books because I’m a Spanish tutor,” Peevey said.