Change of heart? Library says it will explore alternatives to closing branches

The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library is pulling back the reigns on closing libraries. That’s according to a press release sent out today. Library officials said that because of the outpouring of residents who don’t want to see libraries closed, staff and the board of directors decided to reexamine its strategy. However, this doesn’t mean that services will not be disrupted.

Administrators caution that, in the face of a $2 million dollar reduction, there will still be tradeoffs between service at all 24 locations, convenient hours of operation, and the spectrum of services offered

A committee organized by Mayor Ted Biggers met last night to draft a letter to the board of commissioners and the library board of directors and discuss alternatives if the Mint Hill library closed. Click here for the committee’s Web site. The complete press release from the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library is after the break.

The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library is currently examining alternative options to the closing of 12 libraries and the elimination of 148 library employee jobs. The results of this examination will be presented for consideration to the Library Board of Trustees at a special meeting on Wednesday, March 24 at 10 a.m. in the Francis Auditorium at Main Library.

At that meeting, the Board will weigh all options to determine the best operational outcome for the Library’s future between now and June 30. Administrators caution that, in the face of a $2 million dollar reduction, there will still be tradeoffs between service at all 24 locations, convenient hours of operation, and the spectrum of services offered.

Library staff and board members are examining these alternatives in direct response to the tremendous outpouring of community support and feedback since the board meeting last week. As of Tuesday morning, March 23, donations had reached $182,469. This total included: gifts received through the website; a portion of the cash or check donations received over the weekend; and a $50,000 gift from the Friends of the Library, which was made in honor of Joan Neal, a former Chair of the Friends board. These funds, plus any raised in the interim will be considered as part of the alternative options that will be presented to the Board of Trustees tomorrow.

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