The director of the Craighead County/Jonesboro Public Library has released a videotaped explanation of how its funding works and effectively refutes claims that the library is sitting on a $6 million cash surplus.
In the video, director Vanessa Adams explains that the library operates on a forward-funding concept and that most of its funding comes from property-tax revenue, though some comes from the state.
“So every year the money that we earn goes to pay our bills next year,” Adams explains. This practice, she says, enables budgeting ahead of time.
Here’s the full video shared on Facebook by Friends of the Craighead County Library.
People who are still pouting over a 2021 Pride display in the library successfully petitioned to get a proposal on the Nov. 8 ballot in Jonesboro and Craighead County to defund the public library. The measure would slash the four mills the library gets to two mills, endangering some library programs
In arguing for the reduction, petitioners tried to paint a picture of an over-funded library when such wasn’t true. They said the library system had $6 million cash on hand, not mentioning that the money is budgeted for next year. I always thought fiscal responsibility and advance budgeting were admirable qualities; apparently not for Jonesboro’s grudge-holding right wing when it comes to serving the public.
Adams has said the measure, if approved, would mean the loss of the library’s funding. “We do outreach to nursing homes, to daycare facilities, we will lose all of that. We will lose our summer reading program. We will lose our after-school programs. We will lose our book clubs. We will lose employees,” she said.
In addition to the main library in Jonesboro, the library has branches in Caraway, Brookland, Monette and Lake City.