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Director: Less money for library in new year / January 10, 2013
Halifax County-South Boston Library Director Joe Zappacosta broke the bad news to library board members on Tuesday afternoon: local libraries can expect to receive less state funding in the coming fiscal year.

Zappacosta said he has received word from officials with the Library of Virginia, which distributes state monies to libraries, that the local system will get $98,736 in the budget year that begins July 1. This year, the local libraries received $120,524.

Zappacosta said he does know why state funds are being cut, but he said he would look to local sources to make up the difference. He advised library trustees that he will ask the Halifax County Board of Supervisors for $192,000 next year (the county provided $175,000 in the current year budget, which expires June 30).

Zappacosta also said he will request $74,000 from the Town of South Boston, the same amount the town provided in the current year budget. For the first time, the library will ask the Town of Halifax for $11,000, said Zappacosta.

He reviewed the usage numbers for the two libraries, including the circulation of 25,698 books during the second quarter of the year. Of that number, the South Boston library had circulation check-outs of 17,201 books arising from 18,394 patron visits, while Halifax had 9,298 check-outs from 7,342 patron visits.

Zappacosta also reported on the first meeting of the Joint Library Advisory Committee, held on Dec. 18. The committee is made up of two members of the Board of Supervisors, two representatives each from South Boston and Halifax town councils, along with himself, Library Board chairman Bee Espy, County Administrator Jim Halasz and Halifax Town Manager Carl Espy.

He said the meeting brought out many questions about the organization of the library, its purposes and who uses it.

Zappacosta says he hopes to have a consultant from the Library of Virginia present at the next meeting to answer many of the questions put forth by committee members.

In other business on Tuesday, library board directors approved a holiday schedule for the year which includes the closure of the two libraries for 12 days.

The libraries were closed on Jan. 1 for New Year’s Day. They will also be closed on Jan. 21 for Martin Luther King Day; Feb. 18 for President’s Day; April 1 for Easter Monday; May 27 for Memorial Day; on the Fourth of July; Sept. 2 for Labor Day; Nov. 28 and 29 for Thanksgiving; Dec. 24 and 25 for Christmas; and Dec. 31 for New Year’s Eve.

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