On June 14, the Jacksonville Public Library, on behalf of the Board of Library Trustees, submitted to the City Budget Office a plan to meet a requested 13.88% (or $2,378,858) cut to the Fiscal Year 2014 library budget. Departments citywide are being asked to reduce their budgets to meet a projected $63,971,895 shortfall next year.
With deep regret, the Board was left with no choice but to recommend the closure of six libraries, reduce service hours further, and cut the materials budget once again. The proposed reductions include:
- No Sunday hours at any location (five locations are currently open on Sundays)
- A reduction of eight hours at the Main Library (down to 40 hours per week)
- The closure of six of our 20 branches: Maxville Branch Library; Brentwood Branch Library; San Marco Branch Library; Willowbranch Branch Library; University Park Branch Library; and Beaches Branch Library. These closures will result in the elimination of 33 full-time positions.
- A reduction of approximately $250,000 to the materials budget
Please keep in mind that this proposal is not final—we are very early in the budget process. We are not certain how this current proposal will factor into the budget the mayor submits to City Council on or before July 15. The Council will then debate the budget, with a final vote September 24.
To contact your City Council Member, go to http://www.coj.net/city-council/city-council-members.aspx.