Craig Library dealing with state, county budget cuts

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Because of budget cuts, the Craig Library will not offer its weekly reading program this summer.

Library Director Donna Watkins said a combination of cutbacks from the state, Colorado Northwestern Community College in Craig and the county have caused the library to cut back on several programs, including the summer reading program.

Instead of its weekly event for young readers, the library will offer one Literacy Festival from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 7.

Watkins said the library lost about $4,000 in grants from the state last year.

It also had to trim 3 percent of its budget from the county, and it lost $16,500 that CNCC usually provides for library services and material support.

To offset the reduction in revenue from CNCC, the library will be altering the subscriptions to the print journals purchased by CNCC to online journals bought through a cooperative statewide purchasing agreement.

Watkins said the library is committed to supporting educational efforts in the community.

"By eliminating some of our print journals and accessing this magnitude of journals full-text online, we will offer the nursing, cosmetology and aviation students access to a much broader range of journals than was previously available," Watkins stated in a press release this week.

While the weekly activities for children have been eliminated for this summer, a summer reading program will still be in place.

Children can pick up registration bags on June 16 to keep them reading, solving puzzles

and working on their reading skills throughout

the summer.

They will receive prizes for their efforts including candy bars, pencils and erasers.

Adult readers also are encouraged to participate in the summer reading program. They will be eligible for incentives donated by local

retailers.

The library also will continue story hours for children from infancy to age six at 10 a.m. Thursdays.

Watkins anticipated the next three to five years to be tight budget wise.

"All of these budget cuts at the state level have removed 86 percent of state funding for libraries," she said. "Here in Craig, we too are feeling the pressure of the state's cuts to libraries."

Josh Nichols can be reached at 824-7031 or jnichols@craigdailypress.com.

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