Petitions for and remonstrations against a county-wide library system failed to reach the minimum number of signatures needed last month, nullifying a drive to attain such a system in Clay County. With the measure essentially defeated by this lack of votes, the future of the South Branch of the library, located in Clay City, is in question.
Library Director Jill Scarbrough said while the branch currently remains open and the Library Board is looking for alternative sources in funding, nothing is certain.
"Other sources are being sought," she said, in form of grants and other measures. "We'll have to close down in December if we don't find one by then."
The South Branch's Lilly Grant runs out on Dec. 31.
Scarborough says Clay City opening its own publicly-funded library is not an option because the town does not have a population of 10,000 or more. For this same reason, the remainder of the townships in Clay County are incapable as well.
"We are Clay County's library," she said.
Even if there was no minimum number of signatures, the measure would not have passed. Clerk Mary Brown said the final tally came to 905 signing for a county-wide system and 1,649 signing against, a difference of 744 signatures. Though neither side met the required numbers, the Clerk's Office still checked and validated every signature to present a report to the County Commissioners.
State law says supporters of a county-wide system must wait one year before trying another system. Even then, Scarbrough says she's unsure if she wants to try again.
"At this time I just don't know," she said.