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Library Advocates to Rally Against Cuts This Week

Library advocates will rally in City Hall on Thursday against Mayor Nutter's plan to cut library hours as part of a $20 million budget reduction. Here's their announcement:

This Thursday, June 3, 9:15 AM, outside Room 400, City Council Chambers, 4th Floor, City Hall; then we'll Rally in front of the Mayor's Office on the 2nd Floor; Organized by the Coalition to Save the Libraries.

Last year, we all saved the libraries!!!, but the Mayor still cut $8 million - 20% of the library budget, reduced library hours from 6 to 5 days a week, and eliminated over 100 positions.

In the last year and a half, through 2009 and much of 2010, rolling closures remained the rule, due to a shortage of security guards and other staff and Library Director Reardon's "rule of 4," requiring that 4 people, including a guard, be present in every library, or else the library would be closed.

From October 2009 through April 2010, an average of 4.2 of the system's 54 branches have been closed EVERY day, due to staffing or building issues.

Due to the rolling closures, in a 9-month period of fiscal year 2010, the number of visits by patrons to branch libraries was down 16% over a comparable period in fiscal 2009.

On March 1, the Mayor pledged to representatives of many of our Friends groups citywide that there would be NO further cuts to our libraries in next year's budget.

On May 20, the Mayor announced $20 million in cuts to next year's budget, including $2.5 million in cuts to libraries, in order to cut over 50 library workers and reduce library hours from 5 to 4 days a week. If the Mayor succeeds in his plan, we will have lost 2 out of 6 library days in neighborhood branches during the last 2 years!!!

This plan will be effective July 1, UNLESS WE STOP THESE CUTS TO OUR LIBRARIES!

Come out to the Rally at City Hall on June 3, and spread the word!

On Thursday, June 3, we will begin at 9:15 AM with a press conference/rally outside of City Council chambers, Room 400 on the 4th Floor of City Hall, and then march to the Mayor's Office on the 2nd Floor. The Rally will focus on cuts to libraries, youth violence prevention programs, and fire companies.

Whether or not you can participate in the Rally, please call the Mayor's office on Thursday at 215-686-2181. DEMAND NO MORE CUTS TO OUR NEIGHBORHOOD BRANCHES!!!