Mandatory state cuts could close libraries - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Mandatory state cuts could close libraries

Jeanne Herring Jeanne Herring
Diane Eddy Diane Eddy

By Paul Drewes - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - The budget ax could fall on books.

Mandatory state cuts could close a number of libraries across the islands.

Libraries like other state departments are being forced to cut and slash. a 10 percent reduction would chop services but librarians say a 15 percent cut or more would shut doors on these state institutions.

Jeanne Herring spends a lot of time at the library. she stops by every couple of weeks.

"For various reasons, referencing things for my job, or just getting a good book to curl up with," said Jeanne Herring of Honolulu.

But getting a good book could be harder in the future, because of a mandatory reduction in funding.

State libraries will have to cut purchases of high demand titles for adults and children. which means those that want it, will have to wait.

Less money also means fewer positions for library staff.

"Because position frozen, there won't be children's story time, adult programs,"said Diane Eddy, who is the State Library's director.

Between 6 and 8 of more than 50 libraries will close if the system has to cut 15 percent from its budget. That will close chapters of help for residents when they need it the most.

"Libraries become busier during difficult economic times, so its going to deprive people of libraries when they most need them," said Eddy.

And once they close, they may be difficult to reopen.

Leaving book lovers wondering what will happen with these important island institutions.

"That's unfortunate it seems like they are cutting important resources around here," said Herring.

The State library system presented a ten and and 15 percent reduction to the library committee Tuesday afternoon.

Now, it's up to the Board of Education to decide how much of a cut libraries will ultimately face.

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