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Hearing Tonight on Public Library Closings

Public has a chance to respond to budget cuts

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The Faneuil Branch of the Boston Public Library. Photo by Flickr user LizSullivan

At a 6 p.m. budget hearing tonight at City Hall the public will have a chance to comment on proposed Boston Public Library budget cuts, including a plan to close several branch libraries. 

The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, the union representing library workers, is expected to rally at Boston’s City Hall Plaza today at 5 p.m. before the hearing.

Because of a $3.3 million budget gap, the Boston Public Library board of trustees voted in April to close four branch libraries: Brighton (Faneuil), Dorchester (Lower Mills), East Boston (Orient Heights), and South Boston (Washington Village), and to eliminate some positions.

Opponents argue that the closings will hurt communities, and want to explore options for keeping the libraries open.

The hearing is open to the public.

The protest rally is at 5 p.m. on City Hall Plaza, and the budget hearing for Boston’s libraries is at 6 p.m. in Boston City Hall’s Iannella Chamber, fifth floor. By MBTA, take the Green or Blue Line to Government Center, Orange or Blue Line to State Street. More information is available here.

Amy Laskowski can be reached at amlaskow@bu.edu; follow her on Twitter at @amlaskow.

2 Comments

2 Comments on Hearing Tonight on Public Library Closings

  • Anonymous on 06.03.2010 at 10:57 am

    City's Bad Example

    Most of these branches are in neighborhoods where the city should be promoting literacy, not closing libraries. The decision of whether or not to channel money to libraries will send a very clear message to children about what is important to adults and what should be important to the kids as they grow up. I would go to the rally tonight, but I will be working with kids in Chelsea to promote literacy.

  • Nick on 06.03.2010 at 12:37 pm

    Close the library or raise taxes?

    We’re seeing this in a number of states and towns. In order to close budget gaps, services need to be cut. It’s simple economics and as NJ Governor Christie said a few weeks ago, “Unlike the US government, states can’t print more money.” What about cutting workers’ pay? Private companies did that during the downturn so why can’t the government do it?

    If it’s cut services or raise taxes, I’d choose the former.

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