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Facing Budget Gap, Boston Considers Closing 10 Library Branches

This article is more than 10 years old.

Boston may be forced to close as many as 10 public library branches and eliminate up to 104 positions, nearly a quarter of its library staff, after a cut in state funding.

The proposal was unveiled Wednesday at a special Board of Trustees meeting convened to discuss a $3.6 million budget shortfall (PDF). "Our largest base of support is from the city of Boston and the state. And the state has drastically cut our funding," said Amy Ryan, president of Boston Public Library.

No formal budgetary decisions were made at Wednesday's meeting. Another proposal available to the board would cut operation hours by as much as 85 percent in some locations.

Despite the precarious fiscal position and likely downsizing, Ryan stressed the library's lasting ambitions, saying, "We want to be a 21st century library that touches every Bostonian."

The Board of Trustees will meet again on March 9 at the central branch in Copley Square to further discuss the situation. The board has asked President Ryan to look into other funding options.

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This program aired on February 17, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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