IBJNews

Marion County library may close six branches

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library may decide to close six of the the system's 22 branches in an effort to close a widening budget gap.

Library CEO Laura Bramble presented several options Thursday afternoon to the finance committee of the library board of trustees. The options range from keeping open the branches while reducing their hours to closing two, four or six branches while keeping normal hours at remaining locations.

The most drastic option would mean closing the following branches: Glendale, Brightwood, Flanner House, Fountain Square, Spades Park and West Indianapolis in 2011 and 2012.

The closings would mean cutting 35 to 55 full-time equivalent staff members.

Only the most drastic scenario, however, would eliminate the budget deficit. By closing six branches, the library could have a $220,896 surplus by 2014.

The closings would come on top of several other cost-saving measures, including cutting hours for all staff members and raising fees. Under all scenarios, the library staff is proposing to cut its work week to 37.5 hours, resulting in a 6.25-percent pay cut. The library system would also start charging for the use of study and meeting rooms, and raise to $5 the fee for cancelled holds and failure-to-pick-up holds.

The library is cutting costs because it will lose 8 percent of its annual revenue to tax caps. In 2010, the library expects to see about $36 million in revenue and has budgeted more than $40 million in expenses. Revenue is expected to drop to about $32 million next year and return to about $34 million by 2014.

Although the library has been in cost-cutting mode for several years,  it has been drawing on reserves, spokesman Jon Barnes said. If the library doesn't bring expenses in line with revenue, the budget gap will be $7.3 million by 2014.

The library plans to hold focus group discussions and staff forums to gather feedback on the cost-cutting options. Public forums are planned for May 10 and May 12 at 6:30 p.m. at the Library Services Center, 2450 N. Meridian St. The board is expected to make a decision in June.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Please stand up to fight the library closings!
    If you think this is a terrible idea, then make sure to be at one or both of the public hearings. If you want to keep track of what is happening with this situation, please check the Facebook group here: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=108427279192976&ref=mf
  • Agreed
    Someone needs to seriously rethink this - Heck, Southport Branch would be a better choice than Fountain Square, for example.
  • Library closings
    The branches mentioned are in the areas where they are most needed. Broad Ripple library was closed to make the Glendale library and is a lovely facility. Maybe we should cut hours. We spent plenty on the monster building downtown. We need to help those who need it the most. Bad idea!
  • BAD Planning
    It seems that the locations they chose are the locations that have the greatest need from the lowest incomes and highest educational needs. Sounds like this policy is lets make the disadvantaged even more at a disadvantage, take away their resource center to learn and do their school work, lets lower their verbal skills on the ISTEP tests because we will take away their sources of reading, lets get them to fall further behind in all their other subjects.
    This is just like saying we are going to close the health clinics and doctor offices in the areas where the people are the sickest and greatest of need because the healthy areas make bigger profits and is less work.
    How much of the tax payer's money did we spend converting Broad Ripple Libray to Glendale. Now we are eliminating the library from the area. Sounds like a BAD decision.
  • Glendale Branch
    I visit this branch quite frequently and every computer is occupied and many people checking out books. This branch has been more recently remodeled and I believe is significantly larger than the Nora Branch. The Glendale Library Branch should not close. It would be more equitable for each branch to cut back varied hours and days allowing everyone to have access to a branch near their home or work.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. What became of this project? Anyone know?

  2. Scott, could you post an enlarged photo of the exterior of the building? This will be a great addition to Walnut Street. This area will only continue to develop with additions like this. Also, please give us more updates on the "Cultural Trail light" expansion. Also a great move for the city, as long as there is maintenance money set aside.

  3. Great story IBJ! Citizens don't have a real sense of the financial magnitude of supporting Indy's sports and tourism sector. The CIB was a brilliant idea for creating a highly integrated public-private partnership to support this sector from the economic activity it generates. Unfortunately, most folks think the benefits of that economic activity accrue directly to the City budget, and it doesn't. So though the CIB is facing lean times (covering its costs while maintaining minimally acceptable reserves), the City is operating with deficit - less tax revenue than expenses each year - with a very fragile reserve balance. That's why it's so challenging for the City to fund basic needs or new intitatives (e.g. pre-k education; new jail), and some credit rating agencies have downgraded Indy from it's past stellar AAA status. More reporting on City finances would be welcomed.

  4. Sure, I'll admit that it bugs me to see that the IBJ.COM censors it's blog posts almost as much as the D of I does when someone points out the falsehoods and fabrications. _____But I think it bothers me almost as much that Captain/Defender/Disciple get his yanked too. You see, those of us with a sense of integrity, humanity, compassion, and a need for fact based opinion WANT to see all of his screeds posted. It makes our point so much better than we can do it ourselves.

  5. We're conflating two very different topics. Voter fraud is a myth and excessive gun violence is all too real. I just hope rational gunowners decide to stop being shouted down by the, well, let's call them "less rational" ones.

ADVERTISEMENT