Missouri Libraries Budget Slashed by 80%

Things got bad again for Missouri libraries in FY 2015 – 2016:

MO 2016 Budget Drops Aid to Libraries Almost 80 Percent

by Bob Warburton, May 11, 2015

Difficult budget decisions, including probable cuts, await libraries throughout Missouri after the legislature drastically slashed state aid in two critical areas as part of a $26 billion 2016 spending plan adopted by the General Assembly and signed by Gov. Jay Nixon.

Aid to libraries determined on a per-capita basis for fiscal year 2016 was set at $723,776, a 79 percent cut compared to the $3.5 million budgeted for the previous year. A separate appropriation for Remote Electronic Access for Libraries (REAL), which helps pay for statewide library Internet service and support, absorbed a 52 percent reduction, down from about $3.1 million to $2 million.

The $723,776 aid appropriation works out to $0.13 per capita for the state’s 141 library districts, which Missouri State Librarian Barbara Reading called the state’s lowest expenditure since 1997. In 2014, Missouri spent about 50 cents per capita on library aid.

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