Library computers at center of debate between Havelock, county

Published: Friday, July 26, 2013 at 08:22 PM.

Librarian Margie Garrison sees it all the time.

"They don’t work very well. They’re dark. They’re not good quality, but they’re all we have," Garrison said of the computers.

The failing computers and the effort to get new ones have put Havelock and Craven County officials at odds over how to pay for them. Library funding has traditionally been a point of contention through the years between the two boards of commissioners. Havelock officials believe the library to be a county entity that happens to be located in the city, with some feeling the city is bearing the brunt of the financial burden to support it with little help from the county.

The city contributed $47,076 to the library budget for 2013-14, with the county contributing $89,263, in line with what has become a traditional funding formula with the city contributing about 35 percent and the county contributing about 65 percent.

On top of the normal library budget, Garrison put in a special request for $10,000 for new computers and software. Havelock, going back to the traditional funding formula, committed $4,000, but Craven County offered no extra money for the purchase of new computers.

Scott Dacey, chairman of the Craven County Board of Commissioners, said the Havelock library was offered used 2012 computers from the county that would have worked just fine for its needs, saying other departments in Craven County were using similar computers.

Garrison disputes that, saying she was not aware of any such offer of used computers being made to the Havelock library.



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