Library may have to cut hours, programs & services

Published 05/30 2013 06:16PM

Updated 05/30 2013 06:28PM

DECATUR -- The public library is looking for ways to trim hundreds of thousands of dollars from its budget. The city librarian will share three options with fellow board members at their Thursday night meeting.

$350,000. That's how much the library is short for the remainder of the city's fiscal year. Plus, its financial reserves are dry.

City librarian Lee Ann Fisher is sharing three budget-balancing options with the library's eight member board. It's all in attempt to turn things around.

She says the library's shortfall is partly due to the city's transition to a fiscal year that aligns with the calendar year.

"Naturally the two most places to cut would be staff and our materials budge," Fisher said.

Fisher says programs, service hours and service days are also on the chopping block. But some library patrons have other concerns.

Library users might be impacted the most by fewer new materials making it to library shelves. To home-schooled 5th grader, Zhao Waterman, the library is the cornerstone of his personal growth and his community.

"They can teach a lot of people a lot of stuff; teach kids how to read, gives people knowledge and stuff. There's really fun stuff to do at the library, it's really great," Waterman said.

While Fisher is mainly concerned about just that, she says the board won't make any rash decisions, but changes will come.

"It's a well-rounded proposal. You know it's something you hate to do, but you know I think they'll just be discussing. There won't be any decisions made. We don't want to do anything rash. We want to think it out and think of what's best for the community and our staff," Fisher said.

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