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Libraries say they’d suffer from governor’s budget cuts



Published: Mon, June 22, 2009 @ 3:45 p.m.

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Carlton A. Sears, director of the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County

YOUNGSTOWN — If the governor’s proposed budget cuts are enacted, Mahoning Valley library officials say their systems would need to close most branches, and scale back hours and reduce staffing levels at the surviving facilities.

It was only a year ago that the state provided $458 million to its 251 public library systems. If Gov. Ted Strickland’s proposal to reduce the state’s deficit of $3.2 billion on its $54 billion budget is approved by the General Assembly, that library fund would drop to $248 million.

“It’s catastrophic; it’s devastating,” said Carlton A. Sears, director of the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County.

The reduction proposed by Strickland would leave the Mahoning system, which has 15 branches and the main library in downtown Youngstown, with $5.2 million next year in state funding. That’s compared to $9.8 million last year and the $6.8 million expected this year from the state.

The library system would have to close most of its branches if state funding is cut that severe, Sears said.

One scenario being considered is to keep only the main library open as well as two of these three branches: Austintown, Poland and Boardman.

The buildings that would remain open would do so with reduced hours and smaller staffs, Sears said.

“While we recognize that the state is dealing with a serious financial situation, we also believe that the community’s libraries are not a luxury,” he said. “They are essential, especially during these hard economic times.”

Read more in Tuesday’s Vindicator and Vindy.com


Comments

1GrammarPatrol(12 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

I'm finishing on a degree in English, so I have nothing against reading, obviously...but, no one goes to the library now a days....who cares? Only people that go are dirtbags that need to use the computer to look crap up.

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2CleverMoniker(26 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

I go to the library for the pleasure of reading and they have great activities for the kids too.
It's hard to teach a love of reading to children if you're having them constantly be on a computer, looking at that screen puts quite a strain on the eyes also.
I hope they don't have to close them, but I mostly go to the main branch or the Austintown one(though it is SO CENSORED) so I would still frequent the libraries anyway.

And people DO go to the libraries, I've actually had difficulties finding parking when I've gone recently. They're not all dirtbags either, Grammar Patrol.

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3planforthebest(53 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Yeah, dirtbags with no where else to go, high school students who need to do research, people researching their family history, kids learning to read, tutors teaching kids who need a little extra help, seniors who can't afford amazon.com, people looking for books that aren't available on Kindle, business owners looking for help making new business plans, collectors who want to know what their treasures are worth, parents wanting to have positive interaction with their kids, babies and moms who want to have educational opportunties not offered by the school system, authors researching their latest books, teachers looking for lesson plans that will help their students achieve on the standardized tests...yeah, other than that, no one goes to the libraries anymore.

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4GrammarPatrol(12 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

Okay, okay...I stand corrected. Maybe my comment was a bit vague, but libraries are a bit outdated if you really look into it. I think they need to make better transitions and stop censoring everything, they might be easier to save then.

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5Ianacek(899 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

If the newly opened Newport & Early Rd Libraries , which are part of official attempts to stabilise communities are closed after only a few months , it will have a long lasting effect on resident & investor confidence in the City .

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