Sources of funding
Library funding comes from two main sources and other supplementary sources. The largest source of JCPL’s funding is your local property taxes, which also fund other essential services such as local schools, solid waste removal and road construction. In counties with a low population density or homeownership rate, such as Jefferson County, a significant portion of library funding (around 40%) is provided by a state program called State Aid to Public Libraries. This is money from the state that is divided up among libraries depending on their needs.
Rural libraries–working together
Libraries like JCPL have small budgets. By joining in partnership with two other rural libraries–the Wakulla County Public Library and the Franklin County Public Library–we can pool resources and expertise to help save the library money. Together we can function like a larger library system and get lower prices on important library services such as our catalog, technical support services, and interlibrary loan.
Return on investment
Curious about how your library funds improve the local community and economy? For almost a decade, the State of Florida has been collecting data on the Return on Investment (ROI) for public library dollars. Check out the data here. You can also see other statistics about how libraries are being used across the state. In 2013, the most recent survey year, 82 million Floridians visited public libraries and borrowed over 120 million items.
Private philanthropy and grants
Philanthropists can support their favorite library programs by making financial gifts to the Jefferson County Public Library or the Friends of the Jefferson County public library. Gifts can be as small or as large as you want. The library also pursues grants to support special projects, such as Lego Night and the Library Garden. You can make gifts to the Children’s Library or to bring featured speakers and musicians. Philanthropy is a supplemental source of funding that helps ensure that tax money goes to essential services.