With budget cuts affecting libraries around the country, the Gila County Board of Supervisors voted to fund the eight county libraries at last year’s levels during its Aug. 2 meeting.
The libraries’ $1.3 million budget comes from property taxes. The libraries saved money during the good times to get through the downturn, said John Nelson, deputy county manager for Gila County.
The towns of Payson, Globe, Hayden, Miami and San Carlos match the support the county offers those libraries. Smaller libraries such as Pine’s Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library and the Young Public library rely solely on the support of the county.
Throughout the nation, libraries lack funds for summer reading programs and new book purchases, and have faced staff layoffs and branch closures, according to the American Library Association.
In Payson, the library offers a multitude of services. Patrons can rent up to six DVDs for a week, check out an unlimited number of books, borrow magazines with 100 different titles, use the Internet and Wi-Fi for free, and find audio books. The library offers kids’ programs such as “Baby Time,” a program for babies and their caretakers, pre-school story time and once-a-month movies.