Local Politics

Harnett libraries to close for budget cuts

Posted June 29, 2011

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— Budget cuts in Harnett County will close two of the county's three libraries in a little more than two weeks.

County commissioners decided to reduce spending after contentious public meetings about possibly raising taxes or furloughing employees. Among the cuts they approved Monday was $80,000 from the county's library program.

Libraries in Coats and in Anderson Creek will close on July 15. Five part-time employees will lose their jobs.

Leanne Westbrook said she takes her children to the Coats library every week.

"They just love the reading program. We are so close to all the librarians," Westbrook said.

The main library in the county seat of Lillington isn't immune to the budget cuts. This summer, it will be open five days a week, down from six.

Library patron Dominique Gerald worried about what teenagers will do on long, hot summer days away from school.

"(There's) not a lot of resources here for us to stay busy. We don't have a recreation center, so this is where they come," Gerald said. "You want to keep us out of trouble, but you're going to shut the library down. I don't think that's right."

Harnett libraries to close for budget cuts Harnett libraries to close for budget cuts

County commissioners said that tough fiscal times mean tough choices.

Westbrook said she understands money is tight, but she wishes the county would leave the libraries alone.

"It's a second home. Where do you go when there's no home?" she said.

13 Comments

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  • Rebelyell55 Jun 30, 2011

    Yes there were some tough choices that had to be made. I still hope they review the current county manager's performance and if need be get rid of him. I suspect there is waste in all agencies, and maybe this will be a wake up call to them. It's tough all over, and we have to live within the means. Harnett Co. is already getting heat by state regulators for dipping into the reserves. I'm glad the budget passed, and hope it stay the same for several years.

  • luckn4u2 Jun 30, 2011

    If they would cut some of the management positions in the school system they could save a lot,,,I know for a fact there is some double dipping going on in harnet county schools..Bringing a few back out of retirement and there salary you would not believe..

  • mep Jun 29, 2011

    Welll... when you dont have enough money to pay the bills, you make the cuts, people will suffer, but they will survive.

  • zachiarose Jun 29, 2011

    Why is it that the educational aspects of the budget are the first to go? The library? The library that was funded by the taxpayers. I don't think that this was privately owned and operated. If the budget is in such dire stress, why not just cut the hours of the libraries, or perhaps not open more than three days a week. The workers could at least have a few hours of work, and the patrons of the library can still make their visits? I am so sure, given a list of every item still in "the big budget", we can certainly find other expenses that can be cut back or eliminated. First the schools, then the libraries, what's next? I shudder to imagine it. One expense cutter would be that big electronic sign in front of the Harnett county courthouse that advises us all of the time, the weather, to drink water and drive carefully.

  • lawncare5 Jun 29, 2011

    But give the county manager a raise, oh yea.

  • mmtlash Jun 29, 2011

    Teenagers these days are so computer/internet dependent I'm suprised they still go to the library for actual books and research...It's amazing how much has changed over the past 10-15 years...

  • beccandonnie Jun 29, 2011

    this really sucks. My kids and I go there every week to get books to read. My children are real big readers. Now I guess we will have to go to the Dunn one :(

  • FireFaerie Jun 29, 2011

    Wonder if they are going to have a book sale ..... hmmm that would be nice!

  • Fuquay Resident Jun 29, 2011

    Maybe Dominique should start a book club at her house since she and her friends like to read. Maybe she could go over and offer to help out some senior citizens in her neighborhood.

  • carnival glass Jun 29, 2011

    Very sad to hear this.

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