Halifax County South Boston Public Library System





March 18, 2018

My thanks to everyone for the kind words and encouragement during this time of uncertainty over library funding from Halifax County.  The Halifax County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on the proposed budget on March 19 at 6pm at the Mary Bethune complex.  I would urge anyone with an interest in local government to attend, to be polite and respectful, and to let your voice be heard on whatever issues are important to you.


Concerning library funding, I have the following points to share:

1. After a number of e-mails and a conference call with staff at the Library of Virginia, it appears the library would not suffer a total loss of state and federal aid should Halifax County cut funding to the library by $10,000 for FY 2019.  This was my original fear and concern, and the reason I first spoke out against the proposed funding cut.  I can breathe a little easier now that it appears that a total loss of state aid is not a possibility, but I will continue to oppose the $10,000 cut from the county.

2. The formula used by the Library of Virginia to calculate state aid takes three factors into consideration: local funding, population size served, and square miles of the area served.  A cut in local funding could lead to some level of reduction in state aid, as local funding is one of the three components of the state aid formula.

3. Funding from Halifax County to the library increased in FY 2017, and the towns of South Boston and Halifax increased their funding of the library in FY 2018.  Both Halifax County and South Boston also provide in-kind services to the library.  I am very appreciative for all of the support the library receives from local governments.  At the same time, current funding from Halifax County is well below the high it reached in FY 2009, FY 2010, and FY 2011, when the county appropriated $220,000 annually for the library.  

4. The library requested funding in the amount of $221,000 from Halifax County for FY 2019.  This additional funding was requested to support the following items:

-Purchase of new public computers with the Windows 10 operating system.

-An upgrade of the Microsoft Office software to the latest version.

-A 2% raise for library staff.

Should Halifax County cut funding by $10,000, none of the items on this list will be addressed.  Additionally, some combination of the following actions will most likely be taken:

-Reduce the number of programs for children and adults.

-Reduce the number of magazine and newspaper subscriptions.

-Reduce the number of books, DVDs, and other new materials purchased.

-A possible reduction in the hours of part-time library staff.


5. One cannot do more with less.  If the library receives less funding in FY 2019 then the library can do less, or it can do something different, but it will not be able to do more.


6. It has been my honor and privilege to serve as the director of the library since January 2014.  The library has a wonderful staff and during my tenure they have won state-wide awards for children's programming and public relations projects, and one staff member won a state-wide "Employee of the Year" award.  I am confident that they will do their best to continue to serve the citizens of Halifax County.

Jay Stephens
Library Director


The library will be conducting a customer survey from February 26 through March 31.  Surveys will be available in the libraries starting February 27, or you may take the survey online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XGNFDNH.


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Upcoming Events

1:00 PM - Monday, Mar 19th
Category:  Adults
South Boston Library
Itsy Bitsy PALS
12:30 PM - Tuesday, Mar 20th
Category:  Age 0-2
South Boston Library
2:30 PM - Tuesday, Mar 20th
Category:  Age 3-6
South Boston Library
Tea and Book Discussion
2:30 PM - Tuesday, Mar 20th
Category:  Adults
Halifax Library
Tweens and Teens
4:30 PM - Tuesday, Mar 20th
Category:  Age 13-18 | Age 7-12
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Library Locations

Halifax Public Library

177 South Main Street
PO Box 1729
Halifax, VA 24558

PHONE: 434-476-3357
FAX: 434-476-3359

More Info || Contact Us

South Boston Public Library

509 Broad Street
South Boston, VA 24592

PHONE: 434-575-4228
FAX: 434-575-4229

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Identification requirements for library use

You need to provide Identification document to use Halifax library services. Special discounts are given to high school and college students. There been cases when people attempted to use fake identification documents to take advantage of discounted prices and preferential treatment (read more on Freedom Fakes blogs). All our librarians are aware of fake ID fraud threat and had been trained to pay attention and report any suspicious cases. Its easy to obtain false student ID card from King Of Fakes website and many people were taking this opportunity.