UPDATE: Click here to read an update on city budget cuts, including revised figures from the Sept. 6 emergency session of the Board of Library Trustees.
The City Council Finance Committee approved a motion on Aug. 25 that the Jacksonville Public Library’s budget be reduced by $2.1 million, in addition to the $906,000 reduction already planned for next budget year. The motion by Committee Chair Richard Clark would close all libraries one day per week.
Starting Oct. 1, all libraries will be closed on Mondays. The neighborhood branch hours, currently at 40 hours per week, would remain the same.
On any given day, nearly 15,000 people visit the library. What will this cut mean?
- Combined, the library system will lose 171 hours each week: 15% of total operating hours.
- More than 225,000 lost opportunities to use public computers
- Children and teens who count on the library will lose a safe place to do homework and participate in after school learning activities. With these cuts, 1,800 fewer programs will be offered for teens, children and adults.
- 35 full time jobs lost and 20 part time jobs lost
Approximately 1.5 million items are checked out on Mondays each year—that’s an average of 33,500 items per Monday. In addition, the cuts will mean 5,400 fewer community group meetings will take place at the library each year. Closing one day per week would mean 10,000 fewer hours of literacy instruction provided by the Center for Adult Learning.
This action must still be approved by the full council on Sept. 27. Contact your city council representative by visiting the My Neighborhood search on the City of Jacksonville website and entering your address to locate specific contact information for your council member. Let them know how much you value your library.