Steve Read, head librarian at the McPherson Public Library, is urging residents to take action against a pending piece of legislation that could have a catastrophic effect on public libraries in the county. House Bill 2719, introduced on March 8 with a hearing scheduled for March 14, deals with the funding process of libraries.
Read believes this legislation guts the keystone of Kansas Public Library law: that cities are required to fund their public libraries. If passed, it is likely that some public libraries in small towns in McPherson County will be defunded by their municipalities and shut down.
The McPherson Public Library is a member of the South Central Kansas Library System (SCKLS), one of the seven regional library systems which will be impacted by this legislation. The funding process for these systems, as outlined in this proposed legislation, is so costly and arduous that they will be forced to cease operations.
In addition to the funding the McPherson Public Library receives from SCKLS each year, their staff provides contributions in terms of consulting and technical support for our technology. The loss of that funding, and the cost of purchasing some of those services, will be a major loss not only to the McPherson Public Library but to all public libraries in the county.
Our State Representative, Les Mason, is one of the members of the House Committee on Taxation