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Mississippi must support libraries

The View from Here

HATTIESBURG — Barton Spencer loves his job. As the University of Southern Mississippi’s first-ever library development officer, he spends his days — and plenty of nights, too — raising funds for the school’s libraries. It’s a challenging position, and in a time of shrinking education budgets, it’s very important.

“USM is a state-assisted university, but the state does not support the full operating costs of the university. Less than half of USM’s operating budget is covered by state appropriations,” Spencer explained. “It is vital, then, that USM — and other state universities — receive donations from outside sources, whether they be individual donations, corporate donations or grants.”

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