Library hours may be cut

Published 11:01 am Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Ruth Camp Campbell Memorial Library employees Shameka Key, back, and Katie Hedgepath return books to the shelves. -- BRIAN WHITT/TIDEWATER NEWS


FRANKLIN—The Ruth Camp Campbell Memorial Library may no longer be open on Saturdays and two evenings a week because of a lack of funding.

Hoping to avoid the closures, library officials will attend Franklin City Council’s meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, June 11. They’ll present a petition with 550 signatures, asking that a requested additional $33,000 be included in the library budget.

The City proposes giving $228,686 for 2012-2013. The library asked for $261,780 to keep up with inflation and maintain competitive wages.

“Our director and fiscal officer have both contacted City Manager Randy Martin, and he is aware of what this cut will do,” said Library Branch Manager Bonnie Roblin.

Martin said the city allocated the same funding to the library as it received for the current fiscal year. Franklin’s $52.1 million budget includes a 14-cent real estate tax increase, or 18.2 percent.

Outgoing Mayor Jim Councill said budget issues will be discussed during Monday’s meeting.

“I have strong feelings about the services we provide for our community,” Councill said.

The library averages 10,000 visits a month and is open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

The library, which employs nine part- and full-time workers, offers a number of programs, including its award-winning Job Club. Recognized by the Virginia Public Library Association for being an Outstanding Cooperative Program, the Job Club helps the unemployed by preparing resumes, filling out job applications and preparing for interviews.