Citizens show up to support library funding - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Andrew Douglas

Citizens show up to support library funding

The budget hearings are a slow and tedious process that at times get heated. Wednesday night, the issue of closing libraries was an issue not sitting well with some on the council or the citizens who came out.
Five city library branches are in jeopardy of closing. Mayor Herenton recommended closing Cossitt, Gaston, Highland, Levi, and Poplar-White Station branches.

"One thing we do want to encourage and that's reading and certainly want to keep youngsters off the streets," council member Janice Fullilove said. 
One thought is eliminating funding for Memphis City Schools with the savings going to keep all library branches and community centers open.

"There's a lot of services to the community that's for adults as well as for children," Curtis White of the Friends of Poplar-White Station branch said.

White was part of group of concerned citizens attending Wednesday's budget hearing, hoping the Poplar-White Station library where he volunteers stayed off the chopping block.

"It is one of the biggest and one of the busiest," White said.
Some on the council insist keeping all libraries open is a real possibility.

Especially when the city council is considering cutting more than $93 million of funding for Memphis City Schools

City council members said the budget is one of the toughest jobs they have on council.

More hearings on the operating budget will continue Thursday with judges and fire divisions being discussed.

Click here to e-mail Andrew Douglas.

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