By Tim Farley, News Editor – Canadian County libraries received almost $70,000 in funding from the county Educational Facilities Authority Monday.
The EFA is comprised of the same men who are elected as county commissioners.
About $900,000 is in the EFA account, which has been built up from school bond issues that use the authority as part of its financing mechanism.
The Yukon library will receive 36 percent of the $69,963 appropriated to the library consortium while Mustang’s library will get 28 percent, El Reno at 26 percent and Piedmont at 12 percent.
Authority members said Monday they want to use the money into the account for educational purposes.
“We’ve been looking to get that money back into county services and I think libraries are a great way to of doing that,” authority member David Anderson said.
Anderson also told the librarians and their supporters there is enough money in the fund at present to fund their requests at the same level for “13 or 14 years.”
“I feel like when you fund libraries, you are reaching a wider range of people,” he said.
Authority member Marc Hader agreed with Anderson’s assessment.
“I think this is a great use of these funds,” he said.
Sara Schieman, librarian at the Mabel C. Fry Library in Yukon, was ecstatic about the funding.
“We’re still glowing today,” she said Tuesday afternoon. “Obviously, we’re super excited. We are passionate about what we do, and this allows us to help everybody.”
Yukon library officials will receive slightly more than $25,000 based on a state formula and the library’s service population.
The EFA funds will allow Schieman to add a morning summer reading program, update the children’s non-fiction collection and purchase new books for the summer reading program.
Schieman understands the county funding is not guaranteed for future years, but she remains hopeful.
“However, it is a great way for them (EFA) to help us educate the whole community,” she said.
This is the third year the EFA has provided funding to the county’s libraries.