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Libraries Closing Because Of Lost Operating Funds

Last updated on Monday, October 3, 2011

(UNDATED) - Next month’s closing of two library branches in Hammond may not be the state’s last. Libraries from Indianapolis to Elkhart have cut hours or staff to cope with budget deficits.

Indiana Library Federation Executive Director Susan Akers blames the new property-tax caps - she says some libraries have lost as much as 30-percent of their operating funds.

Akers says the growing shift away from printed books to computers and E-books hasn't reduced library demand she says there are more patrons than ever, taking advantage of internet access or checking out electronic media.

Hammond's library board voted last week to close its last two branch libraries November 1, leaving only the main library open. The board expects the closings to save half a million dollars. The library still must find another 300-thousand dollars in savings.

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