These are things that have been on the library's "wish list" for years, Boggess said. But she cautioned against thinking of the new programs as extras, or of the funding as excess.
The libraries, even the small ones, have struggled with funding issues for decades, she said, coping with uncertain funding mechanisms and ever-shifting relationships between the libraries and the public groups that provide their funding.
"It's always been a struggle," she said. "Libraries struggle everywhere, and they struggle for money everywhere."
The new tax, an excess levy in addition to the school system's already-approved regular and excess levies, will benefit Kanawha County's schools and libraries if it's passed in a Nov. 9 special election.
For a person with a $100,000 home and $15,000 in vehicles, the tax increase amounts to about $125 annually. That's 25 percent more than the person would otherwise pay to the school system with its regular and excess levies. It's a 50 percent increase over the school system's current excess levy.
The school system hopes to offset a $4 million deficit projected for 2014 with the new tax, and more budget woes are expected in the following years. For the Kanawha County library system, it represents a new, stable funding source.
The library system, which consists of the main branch in downtown Charleston and 10 other branches sprinkled throughout the county, has been scrambling to come up with $3 million, about 40 percent of its operating budget, since February. That's when the state Supreme Court decided that a decades-old law forcing the school system to fund the library was unconstitutional.
This levy, a joint tax for the school and library systems, would restore funding for the Kanawha County library system to the level before the court decision.
Contact writer Shay Maunz at shay.ma...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4886.