Proposed budget cut could force changes at Halifax County Libraries

Programs could be cut, fewer books purchased, some positions frozen

SOUTH BOSTON, Va. – Up until Thursday morning, Halifax County Library Director Jay Stephens thought he could lose one of his two libraries.

That's because the county's proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year calls for a $10,000 cut to library funding.

Stephens said he was very surprised when he first saw the proposed cut.

"I had submitted my budget request for the upcoming fiscal year and didn't have any idea that there would be a cut of any kind," Stephens said. "I had asked for an increase. I did not know if we would get that."

He thought the $10,000 cut would trigger the loss of more than $125,000 in funds from the Commonwealth and the federal government.

"We get about a quarter of our overall budget from the state. There are certain guidelines in place that your local funding has to stay at a certain level or it will affect your state funding," Stephens explained.

But his worry went away this morning thanks to a phone call.

"We've been told by the Library of Virginia just this morning that it should not have any impact," Stephens said.