Rebecca Niarchos calls taking her kids to Charles Lanford Library essential to her routine.

"I'm a stay-at-home mom, so I love for my 3-year-old to come and my 1-year-old soon. We love to see friends and interact with them," said Niarchos. 

Commissioner Larry Schlesinger agrees that libraries are essential.

"Libraries are just as fundamental as reading is, and we all think it's an essential service," said Schlesinger. 

Schlesinger remembers it was hard for commissioners to agree on a balanced budget in August during budget talks when Bibb County's libraries had to close their doors temporarily due to lack of funding.

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"My sense is the budget crisis galvanized support for the libraries themselves.  I would think it would lead to an increase," said Schlesinger. 

Comparing the last 6 months to the same 6 months 1 year before, the 4 busiest libraries are down nearly 100 visitors a day.

Washington Memorial Library: -9 percent

Riverside Library: -28 percent 

Shurling Drive Library: -31 percent

 Charles Lanford Library on Houston Road: -37 percent

Jeanne Peloquin, marketing coordinator for the library system, writes, "The library was only one of the 20 outside agencies that were affected by last summer's funding crisis. Other agencies suffered much more in their continued ability to serve the community." 

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Niarchos says she won't stop taking her kids to Lanford, even though it's the library which lost the most visitors.

The county did finally approve full funding for the Middle Georgia Regional Library system after this summer's budget battles. More than a dozen other agencies did not.