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Kanawha County Library System Continues To Study Cuts

Reported by: Send eMail Jeff Morris
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Dec. 12, 2013 2:55 PM EST

Eyewitness News Photo
Eyewitness News Photo

Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia

A restructuring committee for the Kanawha County public library system met in executive session Wednesday to grapple with a multimillion budget hole that has put a number of dramatic options on the table.

The committee will meet again Dec. 19 and library officials said in a news release there is no specific time frame for it to complete its work and make recommendations to the library board.

Options range from the already-discussed closing of up to six branches and pulling the mobile library off the road; to making more generalized reductions in staffing and hours across the system and keeping more branches open and the mobile library functioning, but all with sharply reduced levels, and in various configurations.

Library officials said they have to figure out ways to handle a cut of nearly $2 million on top of $1 million already lost in the fiscal year. In November, an excess levy failed in the county that would have helped shore up the library system’s budget.

“Given the size of the reductions, every available course of action will affect the library, the staff and the patrons and communities served,” library officials said in the news release. “The restructuring committee and the board are committed to finding the best option available, but every option will cause loss of jobs and service cuts across the KCPL system.”

Meanwhile, library officials said the board will be pursuing funding from the Legislature, the Board of Education and the county commission.

“We hope these efforts will be successful, but the library has to assume that at least for the 2014-2015 fiscal year, the library will not have funding from these other sources,” library officials said.



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