Take Another Look At Library Funding

Ohio County Board of Education members have done the right thing in agreeing to continue financial support of the Ohio County Public Library.

But the very fact the issue had to be considered points to a need for state legislators to rethink how public libraries are funded in West Virginia.

A 1957 law requiring school boards in nine counties to provide funding for libraries has been ruled unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court. Had Ohio County Board of Education members stopped providing the $531,000 a year they send to the library under that law, the result would have been a fiscal disaster.

It has been pointed out a law providing school board support for libraries in just nine of the 55 counties probably was not a good idea in the first place.

What about the state’s many other libraries? And what about those in counties where school boards do not follow the laudable lead taken in Ohio County?

Legislators should, perhaps during interim committee meetings later this year, take another look at how libraries are funded.