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Thursday May 26th, 2016 6:51PM

Library Board takes no action on re-opening East Hall branch

By Jerry Gunn Reporter
GAINESVILLE - Reopening the East Hall Library Branch was on Tuesday night's Library Board of Trustees meeting agenda and it was on board members' minds for discussion but there was no action.

The East Hall branch closed two years ago, part of a cutback when the county was struggling financially.

Chairman Andy Henderson told board members the county said to hold off because of negotiations, but that was all he knew. System Director Adrian Mixson knows he has plans.

"I see this as an opportunity," Mixson said. "If we're allowed, we could have the chance to make it kind of a tech center, much like we did over at North Hall, and also move some of this operation we have here in Gainesville; network our processing and book ordering over there."

Mixson said existing staff could run the tech center part of it, and he could free up space at the Gainesville branch to expand and improve children's services.

"I think I can do it without costing the county anything," Mixson added. "I've got the chance for some networking money coming in and I also have the staff."

Mixson said with the grant money in hand he could have some activity at East Hall by next year.

A LETTER TO THE GOVERNOR

The Board approved a motion directing Chairman Andy Henderson to write a letter to Governor Nathan Deal asking him to stop a proposed change in the state funding formula.

The proposal would base funding on geography, not population and that means smaller regional systems would get much more money that large single systems like Hall County.

"The regional libraries would be getting funded disproportionate to the number of people they serve," Henderson said."We feel like we should not lose funding, we actually feel like we should get additional funding."

Henderson said the proposed spending formula would cost Hall County's library system about $70,000.

Director Mixson, who informed the Board of the state funding formula and its possible impact, said the formula would take money from the 'haves' and give it to the 'have-nots'.

"Right now even the 'haves' don't have a whole lot," Mixson said. "Library systems with smaller populations than Hall County get twice the amount of money per capita, that's what's being proposed."
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