Thursday, March 18, 2010

Terrible news

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library board members say they will vote today on a proposal to close half its branches and lay off 140 workers - almost a third of its employees - in the next two weeks.

. . . . The cuts come at a time of growing library use. Annual circulation was up more than 7 percent from October 2008 to October 2009, following a similar jump the previous year.

--Ely Portillo, The Charlotte Observer

6 comments:

Danielle said...

We went through the same thing here last year--though it wasn't quite so drastic. The city wanted to close one branch, lay off empployees and severely cut operating hours on the rest of the branches. It took a library campaign and private donations to stop that happening. And use of the libraries here also has increased. Crazy. I hope they find another solution. Libaries are obviously expendable.

Kathleen said...

Nothing makes me sadder than to hear that libraries are closing. I am a big supporter of my local library and put my money where my mouth is!

Tricia said...

When I read this in the Observer I wanted to be sick. We are talking about one of the premier library systems in this country here! If this one falls under this pressure, I can only imagine what will happen elsewhere.

SFP said...

Yeah, I never thought anything worse than shortened hours would occur. And how much money can the public raise to prevent it with only two weeks notice?

Twelve libraries closed, including two regional branches and a brand new library that opened just a couple months ago. And no guarantee that those who lose their jobs will ever get them back.

A sad day for Charlotte.

Stefanie said...

Oh so very sad. I'm worried about our libraries here. The state is cutting back big time on funding to cities and counties and everyone is talking about cutting everything but "essential services." Essential services do not include libraries but it should since, like Charlotte library use is skyrocketing. My heart goes out to the people losing their jobs at the closing libraries and to the people who used the libraries. Good luck. I hope a solution can be found.

Jeanne said...

This happened in Ohio and a friend of mine lost her job (she had a philosophy PhD and had gone back to school and gotten her MLS). But the good news is that afterwards we voted yes on a levy and the library reinstated its hours and hired my friend back.