Members of the Texas County Library Foundation re-elected two directors and received an update last week on work to improve the Cabool branch of the Texas County Library.

A dispute between Gov. Jay Nixon and the Missouri Legislature could cause some financial pain for libraries, particularly in rural areas.

Texas County Library said it would be affected.

Citing potential revenue loss from the sales tax cuts, Nixon vetoed or withheld more than $1 billion of the Legislature’s $27 billion budget, including more than $6.6 million budgeted for the state’s public libraries.

Nixon froze a $3.5 million state fund to help libraries with their general bills, and another $3.1 million for the Remote Electronic Access for Libraries (REAL) program, which helps libraries fund costs associated with Internet and technology access. Texas County Library Director Molly Shelton said the REAL program helps with expenses paid to MORENet, the system’s Internet provider. The additional expense to the library would be about $12,000.

“Other financial aid that the library typically receives may also be withheld, but the impact is not known at this time,” Shelton said, “It could potentially cut 30 percent of our budget. The library has some financial reserves and can provide the same level of service this year, but will not be able to sustain all of our service indefinitely without a restoration of funds.”

If the funding is not restored, the libraries also lose matching federal dollars. Under REAL, if $1.5 million in matching money is not found in the Missouri State Library’s budget, the withholding could mean a loss of nearly $3 million from the federal government’s Library Services and Technology Act.

“We haven’t yet gone through to figure out whether we can come up with enough match dollars from other sources within state library funding, but we think that we will be able to do that,” said state librarian Barbara Readingstet.

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