American Libraries / November 7, 2008 – revised Nov. 10
City governments across the United States prepared in early November to slash public library budgets in the wake of revenue shortfalls and dire economic news. Even if the lame-duck Congress passes an additional economic stimulus package when it returns from recess the week leading up to Thanksgiving-an increasingly unlikely outcome, according to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.)-funding is unlikely to find its way to local coffers in time to make a difference.
San Diego Mayor Proposes Shuttering 7 Libraries – Including Ocean Beach – One of City’s Oldest
San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders has proposed temporarily shuttering seven library branches-including Ocean Beach, one of the city’s oldest-to close a $43-million budget deficit, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported November 6. The San Diego board of library commissioners unanimously voted to oppose the move November 5, and quoted statistics showing that circulation had risen by 8% in the past three months.
Judith Harris, chair of the San Diego Public Library Foundation, told reporters, “All San Diegans are suffering from the current economic woes, and cutting their free support system will leave them feeling further abandoned by their elected officials.” The city council was scheduled to discuss the library closures in public hearings November 12 and 19. [For the remainder of this article, go here to American Libraries.]