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Libraries seek increase in county library funding

Trustees from each of the libraries in the Lycoming County Library System, library leadership and library supporters are heading to the Lycoming County Commissioners’ meeting Tuesday to advocate for a 5% increase in funding.

Libraries included in the system are the James V. Brown Library, Jersey Shore, Muncy, Hughesville, Montoursville and the Konkle Library in Montoursville.

According to Kristin Caringi, chief financial officer and chief operations officer at the Brown Library, total funding from the county for the county system for 2021 was $1,282,912. Of that, the local library received $859,737.

In her report to the library’s Board of Trustees meeting Thursday, Barbara S. McGary, executive director at the James V. Brown Library, said that representative from each of the six libraries will be there to talk to the commissioners to show the “collective impact of our need for a five percent increase.”

“Each library will have 1-2 minutes on the agenda to report upon impact,” McGary’s report stated.

McGary shared that the library had more than doubled library card memberships in September. Her report to the board noted 265 people were encouraged to obtain a library card last month.

“I am still so proud of our numbers,” she said.

The library also registered 5,254 in-person visits and another 5,687 individual visits online.

In her report to the board, Dana Brigandi, development, marketing and programming director, said that a total of $36,000 was raised for the James V. Brown Library at the annual Author Gala held earlier this month, which featured best-selling author David Baldacci.

The gala, which is the main fundraiser for the library, is sponsored by the Friends of the James V. Brown Library. The event also included an online auction.

Brigandi said that she is already on the search for next year’s author. She also indicated that plans call for the event to be held again at the Community Arts Center.

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