Yonkers budget crisis hurts library

The News Leader

June 15, 2010 12:17:31 PM PDT
The Yonkers Public Library is ending all weekend hours and further limiting weekday service because of the city's budget crisis. Beginning July 3, all three of the library's branches will be closed on Saturday, and beginning July 6, the libraries will reduce their weekday hours.

The library will lose 60 percent of its materials money in the 2011 fiscal year, which begins on July 1. As a result, the library will have fewer new books.

Furthermore, public programs usually offered on the weekends will likely be cancelled.

The library is expected to lose $615,000, which leave sit budget at $7.6 million. This is the second year in a row that the library has lost funding. In 2009, the library's budget was $8.7. In 2010, the budget fell to $8.2 million.

However, the library's fate is unclear because the city has not adopted its 2011 budget, which it was supposed to have passed by June 1.

Yonkers has not adopted its budget because it does not know how much state aid it will receive. Legislators in Albany have not yet passed the state budget, which was due by April 1.

To deal with previous cuts, the library ended Sunday hours and began closing each branch early one night a week.

Residents are concerned for lower income families who will now have less access books and the library's programs.

Working parents are also concerned about their ability to return books on time, which can further limit the library's collection.

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