TYLER, TX (KLTV) – The State of Texas is facing a massive budget crisis. Lawmakers are looking for a way to plug a $15 billion shortfall, which means no area is safe.
The current budget proposal includes drastic cuts for public libraries.
Sheri Melton often makes trips from Troup with her daughters to the Tyler Public Library.
When Sheri can't make the drive, she can still access library resources through many online services, but some of those services could soon be cut.
"For me, being out of town it would be a big loss to me, because we have to drive thirty minutes to get to the library," says Sheri.
Tyler Librarian Chris Albertson says eliminating certain programs is just a possibility at the moment, "The effects that most people would feel locally would be less access to materials especially the databases."
Databases is an online subscription service that gives library users access to full text, magazines, and newspaper articles useful to students for research or any individual interested in consumer issues.
Lone Star Libraries is another program that might be on the chopping block. The program provides libraries with direct aid grants. In Tyler, the money is used towards audio books and ebooks.
"This is for the future rather than immediate. The State Legislature is working on the next biennium budget so any cuts the effect would be seen in the future—if the cuts are sustained," said Albertson.
The Texas Library Association wants to know what your library means to you. Through February 14, they're asking patrons to send in their comments about how they use their library, and why it's important to them.
Come Legislative day, they will be hand delivering your messages to Legislative offices.
You can send your messages to lawmakers by clicking here.