Author Nora Roberts has made a significant donation to a group that opposes a move that would drastically cut funding to Craighead Jonesboro County’s public library system.
Roberts, author of more than 200 romance novels, donated $25,000 to Save Our Libraries, according to a press release.
A group called Citizens Taxed Enough has developed an initiative to nearly halve funding for the library system to save Craighead taxpayers “more than $1 million a year”, according to a September press release. .
The measure will be presented to voters in the November 8 general election. The ballot asks voters to reduce the current tax of 2.0 million for the library system to 1.0 million. Early voting begins Monday.
In a press release posted on the Save Our Libraries Facebook page, Scott McDaniel, a member of the Ballot Question Committee, said in a statement: “This incredibly kind and generous donation gives us the foundation we need to start advocating for our cause. with voters.”
Phyllis Burkett, president of Save Our Libraries, said the group had raised “quite a lot of local money” to pay for the first batch of campaign signs they ordered, but there are other things they are looking at. are trying to work.
She said members of the group will meet next week to discuss how the donation will be used to reach voters, including advertisements and other media resources.
Burkett was told late last week that the group might see a major donation from a nationally recognized author, but was not told who it was.
“There were other people communicating with [Roberts] what our needs were, what we intended to do, and again, the effect of losing that kind of money,” she said.
Burkett says she believes Roberts knows what reducing funding for the library system would mean for the community.
“It worries me that people think rural libraries aren’t important or that we can always keep them open at the same level of service,” she said. “We can’t even find anyone to work part-time, almost anymore; everyone needs a full-time job.”
The group said the initiative would cause the library to lose state funding, outreach programs and Internet services to the community.
A press release posted on Facebook by Citizens Taxed Enough said the Craighead Jonesboro County Public Library System is one of 10 libraries in the state to raise $2 million in tax revenue.
Spokeswoman Iris Stevens said in the press release, “As taxpayers experience 40 years of high inflation, record gas prices, record rents and mortgage prices, and families must choose between paying school supplies and gas for their vehicles, it’s time to put taxpayers first and protect the taxpayers of our country.”
Information for this article was provided by Teresa Moss of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.