April 23, 2018

Richland County Funding Increase Attributed to Advocacy, Service

By LJ Staff

The Richland County Public Library (RCPL), Columbia, SC, has received a six percent increase in its funding for fiscal year 2005, coming from an increase in millage, hospitality tax collections, and state aid. The increase brings RCPL’s funding to about $50 per capita. “An increase in funding this year–when the economy is tight and the county is struggling to fund many needed services–clearly shows how strongly the community supports and values its public library,” said RCPL Executive Director David Warren.

Helen Ann Rawlinson, the library’s deputy director for youth and support services, said that the Friends go to bat every year. This year they gathered petition signatures during their annual book sale, asking the council to fully fund the library’s budget request. They also wrote personal letters and made calls to council members, sent letters to the newspaper, and attended council hearings. This is the first year that the library has shared in the hospitality tax. It seems logical, Rawlinson said, because the library’s annual Storytelling Festival and other events bring people in from outside the city.