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Ballard-Carlisle County Public Library Tightens Budget Over State Funding Concerns

Taylor Inman

State funding for public libraries is still on the chopping block after the Senate revisions of Governor Matt Bevin’s proposed budget cuts.

Bevin’s budget called for the elimination of ‘direct local aid and non-construction aid to libraries.’ Ballard-Carlisle County Public Library gets nearly 90% of their funding through the state.

Librarian Mary Silgas said she tightened the library’s budget when the cuts were proposed.

She said she could still find ways to conserve money without closing the doors, like only opening in the summer months.

“All those cuts we’ve made over the years. You just don’t want to get so limited with what you are doing that people forget about you,” said Silgas.

Silgas said the library had trouble getting regular patrons back after a five-month closure in 2016.


Credit Taylor Inman

She said she expects the library could stay open for two more years with saved funds. Those savings are leftover from previous years of state funding. The Ballard-Carlisle County Library is run by volunteers and is open two days a week.

Senator Whitney Westerfield said the governor called for a reduction of $2.5 million for Per Capita Grants for libraries and a reduction of $194,000 dollars for Local Records Grants, which would deplete funds for operational costs.


Taylor is a recent Murray State University graduate where she studied journalism and history. When she's not reporting for WKMS, she enjoys creative writing and traveling. She loves writing stories that involve diversity, local culture and history, nature and recreation, art and music, and national or local politics. If you have a news tip or idea, shoot her an email at!
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