City Council discusses cutting library’s budget, librarians react

KAMC News

The Lubbock City Council continues its budget meetings, which include a review of some of the services it offers. One of those is the library, and there’s talk that it might be time to change Lubbock’s library system. 

Council members discussed changing their budget based on recent attendance, including the idea of combining all libraries into one. 

Librarians are now preparing to speak to city council in a few weeks, hoping to convince them that libraries are a top priority. Librarians said they see thousands of people walk through their doors each year. 

“We’ve been told by more than one person, the libraries are the best-kept secret,” said librarian Janet Henderson. 

But still, city council is questioning if the library’s budget is too much for what’s provided.

“My concern is that our library usage is down over 20 percent as far as attendance, but our budget is not down,” said city council member Jeff Griffith. 

The future of Lubbock libraries was discussed at an early August city council work session. Council members mentioned cutting the budget and also closing down the branch libraries to focus on just one.

There hasn’t been a formal proposal yet to change the library system, but librarians are already preparing a presentation to tell city council what they think in September. 

“I think it just need to reiterate how many services that we offer to everyone. Such a wide range of interests, and it’s not just catering to the reading needs, but so much more,” said Henderson. 

After their presentation, librarians hope city council agrees with them.

That presentation will take place during a September 13 work session. A more in-depth conversation on libraries is planned to take place sometime in October with city council.

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