People like you helped us support the Whitesburg Friends of the Library and keep another library open. EveryLibrary was proud to support this Georgian Library through a petition campaign on the industry's most advanced advocacy platform. We were able to use donations from the Rapid Response Fund to run targeted ads in the community to encourage people to sign the petition and attend the city council meeting. Hundreds of local residents signed the petition and took action to support this library. Your donations and support make all of this possible!
If you're unfamiliar with what happened, the Whitesburg City Council has refused to provide funding to the West Georgia Regional Library System this calendar year for operating the Whitesburg Public Library. The Whitesburg City Council had already budgeted $12,000 for library salary and then refused payment.
In December of 2021, WGRLS administration was informed that the City’s proposed budget slashed library funding well below the amount it had been budgeted for in 2021, while the city’s overall budget significantly increased. The WGRLS administration only learned of this proposed budget cut from a concerned citizen rather than being informed directly. WGRLS informed the city in January 2022 that the bare minimum amount of salary funding to keep the library open was $12,000, even though that amount is not enough to keep it sustainably functioning after this year. The Whitesburg City Council agreed to and budgeted the $12,000 at the City Council meeting on February 7, 2022. However, the Whitesburg City Council then refused to pay even this reduced amount. This continues a pattern of under-funding this library that dates back several years.
Until this year, the Whitesburg City Council had budgeted $16,000 every year for library salary, an amount that has not increased since the library opened in 2008, even though costs have gone up exponentially since then. Because funding has not kept up with costs, WGRLS has been forced to keep costs down by cutting hours and benefits. However, even after WGRLS cut costs in 2018, we were given to understand that Whitesburg did not have enough money to pay their budgeted amount, and so enlisted assistance from the Carroll County Board of Commissioners and the Friends of the Whitesburg Public Library to keep that library open and operational. While we are grateful for the assistance provided by the Carroll County Board of Commissioners and the Friends of the Whitesburg Public Library at that time, it is not sustainable nor fair to continue to seek outside assistance when the Whitesburg City Council refuses to pay the minimum amount to keep that library open, especially when their overall budget has increased.