Sherrell hosted a discussion on vital services provided by nonprofits at the library’s community room, 306 Elk Avenue North in Fayetteville. About two weeks ago, Lincoln County Budget Committee members approved a budget that spared any cuts to the library after discussions earlier in the year to possibly reduce funding.
“Public libraries are an important resource in communities throughout Tennessee. Cutting services would be a penny-wise and pound-foolish decision. This is ground zero for learning and information gathering for youth to seniors and anyone in between. Parents bring their children to do homework, residents use services such as eBooks and drop in to use computers to access to the Internet,” she said.
“In this economy, the unemployed log on to search for jobs, get tips on how to polish up that resume, write an outstanding cover letter and connect with professionals who can assist them. In addition, people still check out books, CDs and DVDs in this mostly digital age,” said Sherrell.
A national study by the Online Computer Library Center showed more than 4.4 million Americans affected by the downturn in the economy used the library for job-related activities. Libraries also have seen an increase in services and materials used by small businesses and entrepreneurs to develop business plans for start-ups. For many rural families like those in Middle Tennessee, the library offers a way to stay in touch with relatives through social media.
“Even as libraries have demonstrated the ability to meet the needs of residents, they continue to be threatened with budget cuts. We need to ensure residents continue to have access to timely, accurate and relevant data and protect our public institutions and non-profits from facing these risks.”