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Local library use up, state funding down

LA CROSSE, Wis. - Library use is on the rise in the La Crosse area even as state funding is being cut.

The Winding Rivers System helps move resources between 29 libraries in 7 surrounding counties.

Their state funding was cut 10-percent this year and they are facing another 10-percent cut next year.

It forced Winding Rivers to cut one full-time position. But as their state funding falls, the number of people using the libraries is going up.

"Even as people are going to starting to use e-books and looking at information in other ways, we still saw our circulation in this region go up three percent, so people are still using libraries and still relying on libraries," said Winding Rivers System Director Kristen Anderson.


The La Crosse Public Library continues to see a strong demand for DVDs, audio books and children's print material. They say it's a benefit to be able to move resources between libraries in as little as a day or two. But more cuts to the system could threaten that.

"If the cuts continue at a system level, that really starts to impact primarily the delivery, to go from three deliveries a week down to two or one, would be extremely impactful to la crosse public we would notice it immediately and so would our users," said Kelly Krieg-Sigman, director of the La Crosse Public Library.

Wisconsin residents borrow more than one million library materials each week, ranking the state among the top 10 in the nation for library usage.

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