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Barrow County school board to consider library funds request

WINDER - An extra $25,000 contribution from the Barrow County Board of Education would allow two of the county's libraries to open longer hours, said Alan Harkness, director of the Piedmont Regional Library System.

The board will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday to consider that request and to hold a work session to discuss the 2008-09 proposed budget.

The school system last year contributed $50,000 to help support Barrow County's three full-service libraries, which are open between 30 and 40 hours per week. The additional $25,000 funding would pay for two part-time employees, allowing Auburn to open on Fridays and would increase Statham's operating hours.

"A goal is to have the libraries open in the evening for working families," Harkness said. "Winder is open until 7 p.m. on Mondays and that's as late as any of them go."

The extra cash would also purchase more children's and young adult books and cover a $1,400 increase in Piedmont Regional System membership fees.

"This is a request, and if we get it, we will be grateful," Harkness said. "If we don't get it, we will still be grateful for what the school system contributes."

SideBar: If you go

· What: Barrow Board of Education called meeting and work session

· When: 6 p.m. Thursday

· Where: Professional Development Center, 179 W. Athens St., Winder