If Kanawha County voters approve another excess levy to benefit the county's schools and libraries, it would bail out the school system and the central library system that includes most libraries.
Both are in financial straits and facing impending budget deficits.
But the story is different for the South Charleston and Nitro libraries, which have until now been independent from the county and the county school system. Both are funded by the cities they call home and receive some state funding.
If voters approve the new tax, these two local libraries, the only libraries in the county that are independent of the Kanawha County library system, stand to gain a roughly 50 percent increase over their current funding.
The new excess levy would generate nearly $227,500 for the South Charleston library the first year it takes effect, in 2014. That number would increase over the span of the five-year levy to more than $261,000 in 2018. Nitro stands to earn $51,000 in 2014 and $58,500 by 2018.
That's a pittance in comparison to the bulk of the tax -- nearly $3 million for the Kanawha County library system and $24 million for the school system in 2014 -- but a boon for these small community libraries.
"To us, it's like Christmastime," said Karen Boggess, manager of the Nitro Library.
Nitro's total local operating budget in 2012, according to data from the West Virginia Library Commission, was $109,477. South Charleston's was $505,100.
By law, the libraries have to earmark the tax money for specific expenditures. Both libraries have plans to use the money to expand programs and facilities, improve technology and hire more personnel to help maintain these operations as they grow.