The county has announced that 12 branches of our local library system will be closing in a couple of weeks. That's half of the total number of branches we have in our county!! I'm shocked that this is happening. Not only will 12 branches be closing, but 148 employees will be laid off.

Now I'm thankful that the branch I visit regularly will remain open, but I'm still upset about the other closings. I have joined the library's facebook fan group and read some of the discussions about the closings. Someone made the point that the branches that are closing are in lower income sections of the city. They pointed out that the branches in the most affluent sections of the city are ALL safe.

People are trying to raise awareness and hopefully receive enough money in donations to save the branches. However, I don't think it's organized enough and I'm afraid it won't help in such a short amount of time. I wish that they could post "if this much money is raised, this branch will be saved" and let people see where the money is going and that they are making a difference. I feel that people could donate and donate and then the county could claim it wasn't enough to save the branches or the employees' jobs and then where would the money go?

HERE is a link to our library's announcement about the closings. I actually wrote an email to the Board of County Commissioners!! I never do things like that, but I feel very strongly about this. Charlotte is a city that has progressed so much the past several years. We experienced growth even in the midst of an economic recession. People have been pouring into the county from all over the nation. The closing of so many libraries seems like the opposite of positive progression.

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Nymeth said...

That's so sad :( I hope the donations come pouring in and at least some of the branches are saved.

Andrea said...

Well the commissioners have decided to hold a meeting to reconsider closing the branches because of all the protesting from residents! I'm really hoping that will happen. I'm not a politician, but it seems like there must be another way to handle budget cuts that wouldn't require closing libraries.

javajump said...

Andrea, I did not know things were so bad. Keep us updated on the progress, because NJ libraries are headed in the same direction. I will keep you guys in my heart.

Andrea said...

I'm happy to say that the library board met and decided to cut hours and salaries to keep the 12 branches open! I'm sad about the salary cuts, but happy that employees are able to keep their jobs and that all of the branches can remain open!

I wish that the county/city had not cut the library's budget, but at least the library is handling this better instead of making the decision to close branches. I had thought that the county/city made the decision to close them, but apparently they made the decision to cut the budget, not close the branches, that was the library deciding that! Crazy, but at least with the money and awareness raised they were able to make a compromise.

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