Task Force Targets 9 Libraries For Closure, March 2, 2011

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A special task force recommended closing nine more Mecklenburg County libraries if the county could not allocate more money to the library system.

The recommendations were unveiled Tuesday night.

The task force’s proposal included closing libraries at Steele Creek, Mint Hill, Mountain Island, Matthews, Davidson, Hickory Grove, Plaza Midwood, Myers Park, and Cornelius. Library officials would close the branches as funding runs out.

The task force said an additional $1.8 million would allow the library system to expand hours at the regional branches and keep all of the branches open.

According to the task force’s plan, eight branches would remain open and three others would be protected. The six regional libraries as well as the main branch and the ImaginOn library would remain open. Libraries at Scaleybark, Sugar Creek and West Boulevard would remain open and be protected from other cutbacks.

The task force also recommended expanding the hours of the regional branches even if the library system could not secure additional funding.

Nearly a year ago, library leaders polled back on a plan to close 12 libraries and instead opted to make cuts in salaries, staffing and hours.

Library officials will meet with county officials on March 21 to present the recommendations.

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