Operation and maintenance of neighborhood libraries ($510K)
If you vote for this item to be CUT, then you are suggesting that funding for the Bethany, South, and Williams neighborhood branch libraries be discontinued and the libraries closed. If you do NOT vote to cut this item, you are suggesting that three neighborhood libraries be funded to stay open.
The City has four, full service quadrant branch libraries (Anderson, Eiseley, Gere, and Walt). They are open 64 hours per week. Bennett Martin Library is a full service downtown library that is open 54 hours per week. In addition, there are three smaller neighborhood libraries (Bethany, South, and Williams). These neighborhood libraries serve older established areas and are considered important neighborhood assets by many.
South branch, at 2675 South St., is currently open 64 hours per week. In the most recent fiscal year, their circulation of materials totaled 142,538, an increase of 4.5% over the previous year. This is 4.3 % of total system circulation.
Bethany branch, at 1810 N. Cotner Blvd., is currently open 48 hours per week. In the most recent fiscal year, their circulation of materials totaled 112,114, an increase of 17.1% over the previous fiscal year (Bethany Library was refurbished in February, 2010). This represents 3.4% of total system circulation
Williams branch, located within the Arnold Elementary School at 5000 Mike Scholl Street, is currently open 28 hours per week. This library opened in September, 2010. In the most recent fiscal year, their circulation was 35,500, an increase of 156% over circulation at the previous Arnold Heights Branch Library, which was housed in a former Air Force duplex. Their circulation is 1% of the total system circulation.
Implications and Consequences of CUTTING this item
If the neighborhood libraries are closed...
● Approximately half of the over 160,000 library visits in the most recent fiscal year (85,670 at South, 57,976 at Bethany, and 20, 621 at Williams) would be lost and the other half would have to be absorbed by other libraries.
● Library attendance by low income families in these areas would decrease as distance to the next closest library would be prohibitive, particularly in the Air Park area that Williams serves.