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Library to cut marketing, combine programs

LAWRENCEVILLE - Library officials will cut marketing and combine its Gwinnett Reads program with an annual reading event to cut down costs.

The moves were part of a nearly $500,000 budget adjustment approved by the library's board of trustees Monday, after commissioners last week approved a final budget that cut library funding by 4.6 percent.

Board member Phillip Saxton said he was concerned about the drop in marketing funding, but board Chairwoman Phyllis Oxendine said she was glad officials were able to find cuts that wouldn't impact staff.

Gwinnett Reads, an event that was held in July last year, will be aligned with the Gwinnett Reading Festival in October, allowing officials to combine printing and advertising efforts.

The cuts also included some computer maintenance and travel and subscriptions for staff.

In the county budget, which was adopted last week, commissioners added money to the library, compared to last year. But the system is preparing to open the Hamilton Mill branch later this year, so the approved subsidy is $802,000 less than library officials requested.

The board of trustees increased the fiscal year 2009, which ends in June, revenues by $135,00, allowing the library system to use less of its rainy day fund to balance its books.

Business Services Division Director Jane Walters said the fiscal year 2010 budget, which is being formulated and is expected to be adopted in June, is "going to be challenging."

But Director Nancy Stanbery-Kellam said the cuts implemented Monday will be used to build the next budget.