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Gwinnett Library Board Chairman addresses Dacula council

DACULA -- Phillip Saxton, Chairman of the Gwinnett County Library Board, visited Dacula on Thursday, addressing mayor Jimmy Wilbanks, City Council members and audience members.

Saxton plans to visit all Gwinnett cities, embarking on a mission to educate the public about the state of the county's library system.

Proud of the fact that Gwinnett County's library system is both large and far-reaching, Saxton explained how recent budget cuts have affected local branches. Now open to the public 44 hours a week, 7 days a week, the library system serves more than 400,000 users. About 7.4 million items per year are checked out of Gwinnett libraries by the approximately 900 daily visitors.

"We've asked (county chairman) Charlotte Nash not to cut any more. Let us operate at this level and see how it goes," Saxton said, taking the opportunity Thursday to outline some new initiatives geared toward keeping branches open and providing service and materials.

The library system will partner with Amazon and Barnes and Noble in order to receive a percentage of sales from those companies. Gwinnett libraries will also advertise, accept donations and initiate fundraising efforts.