As the state continues to tighten the fiscal belt, Georgia libraries are facing a difficult time with the threat of budget cuts.
Georgia funds its libraries with local, state and federal dollars - but spends less on libraries than most states. Rural libraries like Hightower Memorial Library, part of the Pine Mountain Regional Library System, get the least amount of state funding.
"The bulk of Upson County's local funding comes from the city, the county and the school board," said Cynthia Kilby, assistant director for the Pine Mountain Regional Library System and Upson County librarian. "They pay for the salaries of the staff."
The county also helps with the maintenance of the library building and maintaining the grounds.
Kilby said even with the local funding, the state budget cut will impact the local library.
"We will suffer a loss, on a state level. It will mean fewer books and materials. We'll be down to getting only a few new books each month."
Currently, Hightower Memorial Library gets about a dozen new books. That number could drop to two or three.
Funding may be going down, but the customers continue to come in through the Hightower Memorial Library's doors. Year after year, more materials are checked out of the library and more citizens use the facility's services.
"We are very fortunate in Upson County that some of our patrons have been so very generous. We have great support," said Kilby. "There are some people who will bring in $500 and tell us to put it on a children's program or wherever we need it. A lot of libraries aren't as lucky as Upson with local funding."
Other library systems around the state are considering cutting services such as the bookmobile and magazine subscriptions, and some are considering cutting the libraries' hours.
Kilby said services won't be cut back at the local libraries and there will be no job losses.
"Would I like to see more funding? Yes. I think it is time to expand the building to accommodate children's programs and we need more computers," she said. "But, we are very fortunate to have the local support we have. Yatesville and Hightower Libraries do a bang up job."