The Board of Library Trustees Thursday accepted the recommendation of library administration and voted to close the Main Library on Saturdays for Fiscal Year 2014 if the current budget cuts are approved by the City Council. This means that effective October 5, the Main Library will operate Monday through Friday (eight hours per day) and on Sunday for four hours. The schedule of hours at the Main Library will remain the same next fiscal year as it is now.
You may recall that the Jacksonville City Council Finance Committee recently voted to reverse budget cuts that would have resulted in the closing of the Brentwood and Maxville Branch Libraries. That means that unless the full City Council votes otherwise on September 24, all libraries will remain open when the new fiscal year begins Oct. 1. The branch libraries will retain the same schedule of hours next year as they operate with this year.
However, the Fiscal Year 2014 budget still includes a $173,370 cut to the library materials budget and eight fewer hours of operation at the Main Library. It is disheartening to see yet another year in which we will buy fewer new library materials and offer customers fewer opportunities to enjoy and benefit from the incredible resources housed in the Main Library.
The final decision on the city’s budget is still pending. On September 24, the City Council has the opportunity to present floor amendments that will impact the final city budget so we will not have a final picture of the city/library budget until the Council votes at that meeting.