KEYSER - Connie Sutton, director of the Keyser-Mineral County Library, presented the Mineral County commissioners Tuesday with a paper complete with 413 signatures showing their support for the county libraries.

By Jean Braithwaite
Tribune Correspondent
KEYSER - Connie Sutton, director of the Keyser-Mineral County Library, presented the Mineral County commissioners Tuesday with a paper complete with 413 signatures showing their support for the county libraries.
She said, “We didn’t go out and flag down cars” to obtain the names, but said that patrons were asked to sign if they appreciated what the libraries offer to the public.
Sutton said as she gave her yearly report to the county government, “We are a team,” mentioning the libraries located in Fort Ashby and Burlington.
She gave information on what is offered at the Keyser Library, with a long list including free federal and state tax preparation for individuals, children’s programs, many carefully-selected books for all age groups, DVD circulation, help with smart phone and tablet questions, free notary service, and public computers that are used for such items as job searches, resumes, and school projects.
“Now that I have finished bragging, we come to the fun part,” Sutton said as she moved on to seek additional money for the libraries from the commissioners, as they prepare to develop their yearly budget.
She said, “The county gives us $55,300, and this has been the same since 2009,” and, “We are asking for more funding and no cuts.”
Sutton explained that the local money to match the funding from the state must be raised by June 30 to receive that money during the next fiscal year, however, she said, “As of today we are $29,000 short.”
She mentioned that community support plays a large part in making donations, some in-kind, to assist with making the state’s matching funds quota.
She told the commissioners that additional funding from the county budget would not be used for staff raises, but for “making the match and improving library services.”
Attending the county commission meeting with Sutton during the presentation was April DeWitt, Fort Ashby Library branch manager, Heather Haynes, Burlington Library, and Jeff Pyles, board member.
Paula Boggs, director for the Piedmont Library, was also present at the Mineral County Commission meeting on Tuesday morning.
She showed the commissioners numerous photos of the library’s activities, and said, “This is a year in the life of the Piedmont Library.”
Boggs gave a listing of the services offered to the public, and she mentioned copy and FAX services, GED information and sample tests, free notary public, voter registration, six computers with internet, home delivery to the elderly, audio and large print books, resume writing, and much more.
She said that the adult lounge has been remodeled, and groups such as the Mineral County Historical Society have held their meetings at the library.
Boggs said that recently the Piedmont Herald on microfilm was obtained through the generosity of the Piedmont Back Street Reunion Committee, and a Mircofiche Reader, to be used for an indefinite loan, was made possible through the West Virginia Department of Education and Arts.
Boggs asked people to visit the library to check on all the other services that are available.
She said that activities for children are ongoing and she mentioned the annual Dr. Seuss Party, photos with Easter Bunny, a summer reading kick-off program with a magician’s show, Movie Night at the Back Street Park, hot chocolate and cookies with Santa Claus in cooperation with the American Legion auxiliary, numerous pool parties throughout the summer, free school supplies, and treat bags filled with goodies for Halloween as part of Trunk-or-Treat activity sponsored by the City of Piedmont.
Boggs issued a thank you to the Keyser Mineral County Library and volunteers from the Potomac State Library for their assistance in “helping to make the Piedmont Library almost all automated.”
To assist with the numerous programs at the Piedmont Library, Boggs asked the commissioners for an additional $1,000 to be added to their budget, “But don’t cut any of our funding; we live day-to-day on our budget.”