WEST SIDE LIBRARIES BRACE FOR CUTS


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by rochana rapkins

the new york city public library could face devastating cuts if mayor michael bloomberg's proposed $37 million reduction in library funding is adopted. in addition to jobs lost through attrition, 736 additional library jobs could be eliminated, according to susan singer, a library manager at the bloomingdale branch, on west 100th street.

"it would be the worst cut in our history," singer said during a july 17 meeting of community 7's youth, education and libraries committee.

six-day service is also under threat. west side branches have already cut down on hours and instituted a hiring freeze. if the proposed changes go through, the surviving libraries would only open four days a week, according to singer. free programs for children would also be eliminated.

in response to the crisis, the library has instituted a fundraising and letter-writing campaign. to date, nearly 100,000 letters of support have been collected.





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