Update On Library Closings: Philadelphia Closing 11, San Diego Proposes 7 For Closure, Trenton Branches Stay Open

The economic downturn is affecting everyone including public libraries. So far, the Free Library of Philadelphia announced that they will close 11 branches and cut 111 positions.

In a message to staff, library director Siobhan Reardon, noting that 85 percent of the budget goes to staff, said 40 jobs would be eliminated through attrition and 71 through layoffs.

To meet a $43 million gap San Diego's mayor Jerry Sanders has proposed the closure of seven of 35 branches of the San Diego Public Library.

While Sanders has also suggested closing recreational facilities and decreasing the budget for police and fire services, libraries appear to be losing a larger percentage, $2 million of $37 million, or 5.4 percent. The library will drop 33.81 positions, according to the mayor's report.

It looks like, the mayor of San Diego needs to read library's statistics more carefully and see that circulation has increased 8%, which means that customers are make use of the library more, something quite common when families try to cut expenditures for books, movies and DVDs.

Good news from Trenton, NJ, where four of the branches of Trenton Public Library, previously scheduled to close will remain open through 2009.

The city still will slash the library's budget by ten percent, or $350,000. Layoffs are also expected and will affect 25 staffers, TPL director Kimberley Bray told LJ.

It is critical for our politicians and the powerful of the day to understand that in hard times more libraries need to be open, because they are the only place where customers can attend computer and training sessions, ask librarians for help to find a new job and save money by checking out free materials.

Via: Library Journal

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