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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Library branches to close

The Troy Public Library is planning to close two of its branches and reduce a number of services next month for financial reasons.

The Lansingburgh and Sycaway branches of the library will close by Feb. 2.
The library will also reduce its staff and budget for books, materials, and programming for both children and adults because of a 30 percent increase in expenses in recent years without additional funding.

Library officials had requested an appropriation of $600,000 from the city earlier in the year so that it could maintain its current level of services but only ended up receiving $450,000, the same amount that they had received since 2003.
According to library director Paul Hicok, the library was left with little choice but to cut expenses.

"The staff and Board of Trustees spent many hours reviewing our options for 2009, but the library has little choice and must make the difficult decisions which will allow the library to live within its means," said Hicok.

Hicok also noted that the library has been busier than ever during recent economic times since more people are turning to the library for books, magazines, videos, and other materials.

An attempt to create a special district for the library in November failed after voters decline to approve its proposed $800,000 budget, but officials plan to start the process of applying to create a district once again this year.

Two public meetings will be held concerning the library’s new $669,000 budget and its impact on services to the community.

The first meeting will be held Jan. 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the library’s Lansingburgh branch, located at the corner of 114th Street and Fourth Avenue, while the second will be held at the main library, located at 100 Second St., on Jan. 15 at 6:30 p.m.

Mayor Harry Tutunjian said his administration was disappointed the library was forced to close its branches and would be looking to see if there is a manner in which the city could assist the library with its situation.

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