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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft visited with library staff Wednesday, August 25, to acknowledge their efforts to make Missouri communities a better place to work and live.
At stops in Shelby, Knox, Scotland, Clark, Lewis and Marion Counties, Ashcroft asked library staff what the state could do better for them, and listened to their input.
Missouri has over 360 libraries that serve individuals in many ways. With limited budgets, libraries strive to innovate and update to best serve the needs of the community.
Over the past year, the Missouri State Library – a division of the Missouri Secretary of State’s office, has distributed over $6,000,000 in grants to libraries in the state who have requested project funding. These funds come from ARPA and CARES monies offered through federal programs.
“Libraries matter. Regardless of which library you frequent, you will find a vibrant, energetic atmosphere filled with people of all ages and from all walks of life.” Secretary Ashcroft said. “ “A Library is a place where communities can gather, where parents can find engaging and educational programs for their children, where a student can connect to the internet and find a world of resources and opportunity – anyone can find a quiet space to get work done or just relax with a good book.”
Since taking office in 2017, Ashcroft has worked closely with Missouri’s libraries and the state legislature to improve state funding and improve public libraries.