We greatly appreciate the many supporters who spoke out at last night’s City Council meeting in support of funding for their libraries. Your passionate pleas and moving stories about how the library has changed your life or positively impacts your children mean so much to the library staff.
The Council approved the library’s budget, including $792,000 that was returned to the library in order to fund Sunday hours of service at five library locations and $500,000 that was initially cut from the library’s materials budget. Despite those restored funds, the budget reflects a reduction of $3.5 million from the previous year. As a result, effective Oct. 1, service hours at 17 of the library’s 21 locations will be reduced and 71 full-time positions will be eliminated. The new schedule is posted to our website.
The cuts the library will endure in the coming year are significant, with fewer librarians to assist customers and fewer hours of service; however, were it not for your ardent support, we know the cuts could have meant closing some libraries all together.
This year’s cuts are indeed devastating to our community. Should the library’s budget be cut again next year even by one-fourth the amount it was cut this year, it won’t mean reducing hours; it will be mean completely closing some locations. We all want to avoid that, so please continue your support of your libraries. Consider joining one of our Friends groups, tell your councilmember why the library needs to be supported, and stay informed through this blog and the library’s e-newsletter.
Thank you for loving your library!