CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The Kanawha County school board won't immediately withdraw all of its support for the public library system, but board members are unsure of -- or disagree on -- what a long-term arrangement will look like.
The board met Monday to discuss the matter, on the heels of a state Supreme Court decision that found a 1957 law forcing the school board to help fund the library is unconstitutional. That ruling ended a decade-long legal battle, and left library officials scrambling to come up with about $3 million -- nearly 40 percent of the library system's annual operating budget.
Michael Albert, president of the library's board of directors, made an appeal to the board, asking them to continue funding the library voluntarily.
He asked the board to continue funding the library on the same level it is now, but told board members he and other library officials are willing to "listen to any alternatives."
Library officials are looking at a slew of cost-saving measures -- to start, the main branch in Charleston and the St. Albans branch will no longer operate on Sundays. But officials are also looking for funding sources to avoid drastic cuts.
"We are looking at our operations, we're attempting to see where we can affect savings," Albert said. "But it is a long-standing and productive relationship. We want to keep it and we want to move forward."
The school board and library system have a close operational relationship, but after a decade-long legal battle, members of both boards say they welcome an open dialogue.
Robin Rector is the board's newest member -- she was elected to the school board in 2008.