CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Despite increasing demand for services libraries offer, Jefferson County ranks last among the state's 55 counties in per capita funding for the facilities, a group of library officials told the County Commissioners Thursday.
On average, counties across the state spend $6.14 per person for library services, while Jefferson County spends about $1 per person, according to a report by the Jefferson County Public Libraries. However, a principal facility, Charles Town Library, is privately funded.
Neighboring Berkeley County spends a little more than $10 per person on library services, the report said.
The Jefferson County Public Libraries, which represents three libraries in the county, requested up to $30,000 from the commissioners to upgrade library services. The request comes as the commissioners begin the process of deciding how to budget money for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.
The low funding for libraries comes at a time when communities are expecting more from them, according to Suzanne Koenig, president of the board of directors for the Bolivar-Harpers Ferry Public Library.