Budget cuts force fundraiser to help low-income families afford access to South Sioux City, NE library
A controversial budget decision leaves families in Dakota County, Nebraska's rural communities unable to use South Sioux City's library free of charge.
In the past, the Dakota County commissioners would contribute $40,000 to subsidize library cards for those living outside city limits. This fiscal year, they voted no, leaving some low-income families with no library access. "It's a difficult situation for the fact that you always deal with the idea that the library is free, but they are not really free, they are paid for by tax dollars," said David Mixdorf, Library Director. "It's a difficult situation for individuals that are low income. They can't afford to use your services and you have to turn them away."
But, turning them away didn't sit right with library personnel. So, they are asking local businesses, and individuals, to contribute to a scholarship fund they set up to pay for the library cards.
Lewis and Clark Elementary is using pumpkins to raise money for the library cards. They were donated by the Steam Fitters and Plumbers Local 33. Those pumpkins will fuel a two-day pumpkin and baked goods sale. Teacher Erika Boman is spearheading this mission for the school. "We didn't think it was necessarily fair especially because our school population has a lot of free introduced lunch students so they can't afford the little extra things, the cards are around $75 and that is hard to justify spending that money for the library," said Ben Schultz, Principal, Lewis & Clark Elementary.
The Lewis and Clark pumpkin and baked goods sale is Wednesday, and Thursday, from 3:00pm to 5:00pm at the school.