Mountain State Spotlight, Beckley Register-Herald, Fayette Tribune – On a recent weekday, nearly two dozen kids gathered around a multicolored ABC rug in the Louis Bennett Public Library, filling the space with chit-chat and laughter. Everyone listened intently as a library clerk in a pirate hat enthusiastically read “Where’s the Pirate?” Then they walked across a cardboard plank.
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The Lewis County library, the only one in a county of about 16,000, plays an important role: lending books, DVDs and Wifi hotspots, as well as organizing programs for local kids and adults. But it all hinges on the tireless efforts of one full-time employee, three part-time employees and a handful of unpaid volunteers. And funding cuts — 13% since 2016 — have made their work harder.
It’s impossible to fairly compensate staff, said Library Director Katrina Johnson.
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