Money With Strings for Charlotte Mecklenburg Library System

For the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library system, there's at least some good news...

The Charlotte City Council agreed to spend $1.5 million to help keep county libraries open for the next year. But the money comes with strings, and the library officials say they don't know yet what difference it will make.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library system would need an extra $8 million to keep the current libraries open at already-reduced hours for the next year, according to library officials. But the city and county have only agreed to pay $5 million.

Library director Charles Brown says he's grateful for that, but the deal is far from done, because the city's contribution is contingent on contributions from at least four towns in Mecklenburg County.

Brown says he's received preliminary commitments from two towns and is "cautiously optimistic."

But even if all the money comes through, it will be less than the $8 million Brown asked for, and he says more libraries could close.
Here's the latest...


When are they going to tell the community that, if they want to keep *their* library, they need to ante up the tax money? Circumvent the political budget process and get a levy on the ballot.

Not every public library has that as a legal option. Some are stuck with the appropriations they get. After the last ballot round in May, I find I now live in part of the 14% of Ohio library districts that got shot down by their voters at the last poll.

Levies are nice but passage is by no means assured.
Stephen Michael Kellat, MSLS

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