The regular school levy rate will not change, and is controlled by the Legislature.
"This is an opportunity for the board and the library to cooperate to produce something that's very important, and that's better informed citizenry and educated students who are able to function in today's competitive society," said Kanawha County Public Library Director Alan Engelbert. "The excess levy, as proposed, will allow our library to maintain all of its facilities and services, and most likely to reinstate Sunday hours and continue to grow and enhance our services."
In addition, the levy would bring in about $227,000 for the South Charleston Public Library, which operates on a budget of about $580,000, and will give the Nitro Public Library about $50,000, which totals to about a third of its operating budget.
Both libraries operate as independent agencies, though Nitro Public Library receives some services from the county system.
"For the first time, we would be partially supporting those libraries, recognizing that the people who live in those cities clearly are affected by this levy and need to be permitted to benefit from it as well," Engelbert said.
Karen Boggess, manager for the Nitro Public Library, has worked there for more than 20 years. She called the levy's potential "a very exciting opportunity."
"We could use that money anywhere -- we're a very small library, and we've seen hard times," she said. "It would be tremendous for us."
The new levy would also kick in 2014, and would give Kanawha County Public Libraries more than $2.9 million to distribute amongst its 10 branches. By 2019, when the levy ends, Kanawha County libraries will be receiving more than $3.4 million.
Reach Mackenzie Mays at mackenzie.m...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4814.