Trump budget proposal would mean cuts for local programs

Volunteers at the Learning Lamp in Geistown sorted books Monday in preparation for a book festival. (WJAC)

JOHNSTOWN -- Budget cuts proposed last week by President Donald Trump had people at the Cambria County Library worried about money on Monday.

The library gets some grant funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a national program that provided nearly $5.5 million last year to Pennsylvania libraries.

"I can't even imagine how we would operate," said Lyn Meek, the director of the Cambria County Library System, of the funds. "Something would have to give."

The money helps fund the software that the library uses to catalog its materials as well as some of its children's programs.

David Swain was doing research at the library Monday afternoon. He visits often, and said he didn't think legislators understand yet what they would be cutting.

"Once it sort of hits, then comes back, everyone (will say) 'We didn't mean that!'" he said.

Meanwhile on Monday, volunteers at the Learning Lamp were organizing books for an upcoming festival.

They're worried, too, about the proposed budget cuts, which would take away a $10,000 grant they get nearly every year to help put on the festival.

Last year, more than 4000 people attended the festival, and more than 30 percent of those people came from low-income families.

Ingrid Kloss, the director of development at Learning Lamp, said she wanted the program to teach kids to love reading.

"(We saw) two brothers sitting next to each other reading and we thought, 'Yes! That's what we want this to do.'"

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