Lee County Libraries Face Budget Cuts

Aug 28, 2013

Credit Yuri Levchenko / Flickr / Creative Commons

Lee County Commissioners are considering funding cuts to the library system in the wake of a $32 million operating deficit for the upcoming year.

The proposed budget for Lee County’s upcoming fiscal year could slash funding for the library system by about $1.2 million.

Director Sheldon Kaye said these cuts will impact a number of library functions.

“A reduction in the hours of service a reduction in the size of our staff,” he said. “We would be spending less in the acquisitions of new materials. We would be discontinuing inter-library loan service.”

As a result, some libraries may reduce service to four days a week—others will open later and close earlier each day.

Kaye said this funding reduction follows several years of budget cuts for the library system.

As it stands, officials have proposed about $24.5 million to fund the library system, but the budget is not finalized yet.

Commissioners will be discussing looming budget cuts to parks, public transportation and other services—as well as a possible tax increase during public meetings on September 4 and 18.