SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA.com) — A new proposed budget for the cash-strapped city of San Bernardino may put libraries on the chopping block.
San Bernardino’s city manager laid out a budget that cuts more than half of the library system’s funding, according to the city’s library board.
Dr. Milton Clark, the board’s president, said if the budget were to pass, the city’s main branch and three satellite branches would close.
“The main library, which is the Feldheym library, it’s about a 64,000 square foot building. We’d be left with three full-time employees to supervise and manage a building of that size. I don’t see how that’s really feasible,” he said.
Clark said he hopes the city council and the mayor can sort out a compromise.
“The city of San Bernardino, as you know, is in bankruptcy. We’ve got to develop a balanced budget. The question will be, ‘What are the priorities for the city council?’” he said.
CBS2’s Tom Wait reports that the mayor’s office said cuts to the library system are not set in stone. The mayor and the council have three more sessions to hash out a new budget, which must be in place by July 1.
The cuts, however, have to come from somewhere. The bankrupt city faces a $28 million budget shortfall.
Resident Juan Pinedo said the idea that the library branches could close is upsetting.
“Not just grown-up people use the library, but also a lot of schools. They bring their teachers, their classes,” he said.