Potential Library Closures Plaguing Jacksonville

On June 13, 2013 the Jacksonville Public Library Board of Trustees voted for a drastic budget cutting plan that would potentially close six library locations. This is shocking news for the entire community, and residents from many neighborhoods of Jacksonville are teaming together and standing up for their area library in hopes that the center will not close.

The hefty budget cuts addressed this week would involve $2.4 Million in reductions to the library system’s current budget. In addition to potential closures, this would involve decreased hours and may even result in several branches closing an extra day of the week to recuperate costs.

The six branches that are at risk of being closed are:

  • The Beaches branch, in Neptune Beach
  • University Park branch, on the Southside
  • Willowbranch Library, in Riverside
  • The San Marco branch, in San Marco
  • Brentwood library, on the Northside
  • The Maxville branch library, on the West Side

These six potential closures together effect almost every community in Jacksonville, and will cause thousands of people to search for a different library branch for books and other community resources. For many, this will mean traveling farther from home.

Libraries are something that many people look for in a community when searching for property sales. Seeing a library close is a sad event, especially as some of these establishments have been open since the 1930s, like the Willowbranch library, which is the oldest library in Duval County.

The budget changes are not yet official, and cuts may be made elsewhere to help save these branches, but this can serve as a reminder to take advantage of your local library while you can.