ETNA GREEN — After about 28 years, Etna Township has decided to end its partnership with Bourbon Public Library.
According to Bourbon Public Library Director Nicholas Treber, the library first became aware of Etna Township Trustee Rita Anglin deciding to end the partnership on Jan. 9. Etna Township is on the west side of Kosciusko County and includes the town of Etna Green.
“The trustee and clerk (Julia Goon) cited lack of funds as the reason for not providing library cards for their residents,” said Treber. “Etna Township residents are encouraged to view the budget and financial reports for themselves and draw their own conclusions regarding the financial status of the township. The township board would like to use those funds for other expenses, despite increasing expenditures in other areas.”
For 2020, the Etna Township budget totals $148,650, with $3,000 in the rainy day fund, $38,900 in the general fund, $10,000 for township assistance, $46,000 for fire, $50,000 for cumulative fire (township), and $750 for recreation.
Due to this change, Etna Township residents will now have to pay $55 for a library card at Bourbon Public Library. This cost is established by the Department of Local Government and Finance, as well as the Indiana State Library.
Treber said that during a public meeting in Etna Green on Thursday, Jan. 16, the residents of Etna Township “strongly expressed their support for the continued use of their taxpayer funds to pay for library access.”
“For townships without a library in their district, partnering with a neighboring library is the best way to ensure that residents have an equal opportunity to access resources that support literacy and community engagement,” said Treber. “Access to library services is a proven way to increase the quality of life of the people who reside in a community, and we hope that we can continue to serve Etna Township.”
“We are obviously passionate about what libraries can do to strengthen communities by making all who walk through our doors feel welcome and providing them a window to the wider world around them,” said Treber. “A silver lining has emerged from this unfortunate situation in that we have learned just how much Etna Township residents value the work that the library does, and the support we have felt has been absolutely amazing. The Etna Township is more close-knit and civically engaged than we had realized and it’s heartwarming to see. We have full confidence that something great will come at the end of this ordeal.”