Library reductions to come in fall

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Gwinnett's libraries could soon be closed two days a week, if funding remains the same.

Gwinnett County Public Library Director Nancy Stanbery-Kellam told the county budget committee Monday that the 15-branch system will reduce from 53 hours a week to 40 hours.

The move comes after years of public discord over reductions, including a reversed plan to close the Dacula branch and reductions from a previous 71 hours a week.

While the county has already reduced its annual subsidy to the library by $2.8 million, Stanbery-Kellam said officials have used a rainy day fund to stay in the black. Government officials are facing another $30 million budget gap, but library officials are hoping to continue the same funding to keep at the lower service level.

Instead of closing branches, Library Board Chairman Philip Saxton said the cuts would be across the board.

In addition, he hopes to transition to using non-tax revenue to support the system.

He plans to launch a "Love Your Library" campaign for donations, hoping to generate $1 million a year and get another $1.2 million in advertising revenue.


richtfan 4 years ago

did you mean "stay in the black"? why would you use a rainy day fund (with money in it) so you could stay "in the red"? that doesn't make sense.


R 4 years ago

I hope they consider staggering the days closed in such a way so the scheduling between neighboring units would be complementary and they would NOT be closed at the same time. Travel times may increase a bit, but service could be maintained overall.


junebug0219 4 years ago

We need our libraries more than we need hundreds of miles of walking trails, synthetic turf for young children to play ball on and a dozen studies on the privatization of Briscoe Field. Give us brain food instead of something to raise our blood pressure!


notamom 4 years ago

Use those walking trails and you'll get your blood pressure down. Works for me!


mary 4 years ago

Too many libraries and they are open too many hours. Just another example of commissioner's allowing overbuilding of libraries to get votes in their district. I live within 10 minutes of four libraries. Gwinnett county loves to waste your tax dollars. Oh, did anyone hear the speech at two commission meetings "Why Little Johnny Can't Read"? The poor thing who read the speech was under the impression we do not have enough libraries for little Johnny to learn to read. How sad.


HonestIngine 4 years ago

Many books can be viewed online. Since we got our Nook and Kendle, we have not been to the library. Does the county charge for the library cards? If not, why not? I do not think anyone of us cannot afford a 10$ permit card. Maybe seniors would get a discount, but at least the users will help contribute to the cost. Yes I agree, stagger the days open, so there will be access every day, except Sunday.


JCB 4 years ago

Honestingine, many books CAN be viewed on line. I prefer to snuggle in a big chair with a book. If you like to read the new releases, you have to buy them. I read at least 2 books a week and cannot afford to buy them. I am very grateful for our libraries. (BTW, it's Kindle, not Kendle).


libby804 4 years ago

There is no such thing as a library being open too often! I am amazed at the users in small neighborhood branches. Each and every day of the week. Man, many adults using computers (not just children playing games but that's good too). It is sad that today there are so many people without computer access except through our libraries so not only would access to books be taken away for more hours but computer use as well. One thing Gwinnett Library used to do to make money was have a regular book sale. They even at one time took private donations and as I went to these sales I know they made money to buy new books at the library. Now that has stopped and the don't take donations, even saying that if you left them there they would be destroyed! Amazing. Of course you can drop them in that blue bin that goes to a for-profit organization that says it isn't! Maybe we shouldn't cut taxes/library use for those citizens who can least afford it.


rascal66 4 years ago

The decrease in state and county funding for public libraries has caused many libraries to consider going to the public for support.. Maybe it is time for the libraries to consolidate with neighboring counties or just have a state wide library system. For as big as Gwinnett is, it always bothered me that I could not check out a movie for my whole family; just children's dvds. But I had to pay for a library card in another county just to check out some decent family entertainment dvds. Sharing resources may be the way to go. Also, there is all this talk about reduction of services, but they are going to have the same staff work within those 40 hours parameters. Wow! that's going to be excellent customer service with all those librarians behind the desk.


landy13 4 years ago

I agree with rascal66. In the past, reductions in hours within the library system have NOT affected the staff. The have always kept their full time 40 hour or part time 20 hour work weeks. While the rest of us have had to endure layoffs or reductions in hours in our own jobs. Why is the library any different? Maybe it's time to start some staff reductions also! Especially at the top!


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