San Bernardino City Branch Libraries face Closures

Books - BSN

(Best Syndication News) - Three library branches in the City of San Bernardino may be forced to close their doors. While the library locations currently remain open, the San Bernardino City Council proposed keeping the libraries open until March 17, 2013. The extension is to give library officials time to find a way to make the locations sustainable.

Library officials are seeking solutions that may help keep the Howard Rowe Branch, the Paul Villaseñor Branch, and the Dorothy Inghram Branch locations open.

Deborah Clark, Interim Library Director of the ailing library system, said that the responsibility of paying rent and electricity would be their top problem to solve. They would also need to change the services offered to cut further expenditures. Clark added, “Thanks to our recent strategic planning process, the hard work has already been done. We know what services we need to retain at each location—and what services we simply can no longer afford to offer.”

Clark said that each location was addressed in a focus group in spring and summer of 2012. They will be tailoring their services based on the feedback from each location.

Clark warned that the library locations would likely operate as service points for the community. To do this, Clark is looking for partnership opportunities and volunteers to help keep the locations open.

Partnerships with community service agencies might help keep the locations open. These agencies offer children’s services, job search and support services, and general neighborhood services. For instance, a pre-school could rent time at one of the branch locations during the morning hours. In the afternoon, the library would be open to the public.

Partners can include both non-profit and for-profit organizations. To find out more about the opportunity, contact Deborah Clark at (909) 381-8210 or contact Paula Miller, the Partnership Coordinator, between Monday and Thursday at (909) 381-8207.

By: N Wilson

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