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Libraries, Parks May Avoid Cuts in Next Budget

by ARLnow.com — November 18, 2010 at 10:09 am 1,287 16 Comments

After two years of deep cuts, county libraries and parks may be spared in the upcoming budget process.

Speaking to the League of Women Voters last night, county manager Barbara Donnellan said she does not expect to make any cuts to the libraries or parks in her proposed budget for financial year 2012.

At the same time, however, Donnellan cautioned that with Arlington facing a $25 million budget gap, the libraries will likely not see a restoration of hours to pre-2009 or pre-2010 levels.

At one point, Donnellan reflected on her failed effort to close the Cherrydale library, which was met with considerable public outcry. She says that she learned her lesson about community attachment to libraries.

“I’m not doing it any more, I’m done,” she said. “It’s apparent to me that every library is going to stay open.”

In a question and answer session, one attendee said she was concerned that the county seems willing to allow a deterioration in the quality of services system-wide, instead of summoning the political will to close facilities when it makes practical and financial sense. Donnellan said that while the county must carefully weigh its budget priorities, current facilities must be adequately funded.

“As long as we’re going to keep them, we have to maintain them, and that takes money,” she said.

Donnellan pledged to close the current budget gap with a balance of spending cuts and revenue increases. She will host a public budget forum for residents from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 2, at the Arlington Central Library auditorium.

  • TGEoA

    So library patrons have to suffer while the county builds venues to host productions like “Fag Life”.

    http://www.arlnow.com/2010/11/04/fag-life-comedy-show-coming-to-artisphere/

    What a crock.

  • Katie

    Shirlington Library “lost” my returns (I dropped in the slot).

    They’ve blocked my account, and presumably this will show up on my credit reports, hindering my ability to refinance. I was told “well, you can return them directly to us next time!”

    Really? OK, sure, I’ll take a day off work just to return MY LIBRARY BOOKS.

    Thank you.

    • G::TheNativeArlingtonian

      Happens to my wife all the time. There seems to be a breakdown in their system. I doubt, however, that it will inhibit your ability to refinance unless your fees are in the $100′s.

    • http://barlington.blogspot.com/ bArlington

      And then when you return them by hand, and insist on seeing them swipe the books in – they give you a nasty look like you are wasting their time. Just pay for the book and consider it a contribution – averaged out over the life of your use of the library, it ain that much money.

      • Kimberly, Shirlington Branch Library, Acting Branch Manager

        Hello G and bArlington,

        Thank you for your comments. Although there may be wait for service, the next available staff person should always be able to process returns directly from patrons and I apologize if you have not received anything but cordial treatment.

        As stated in response below–Here are more details on borrowing, renewing and returning items: http://library.arlingtonva.us/departments/Libraries/about/LibrariesAboutLibraryCardsServices.aspx

        Please let me know if I can be of any more assistance. I can be reached at 703-228-6546. Thank you for your comments, for using Arlington Public Library and we hope we can meet your expectations in the future.

    • DT

      I would be shocked if the public library reports to the credit bureaus.

      • Google is your friend

        If you follow the link, you’ll see the company “Unique National Collections” mentioned. Google it.

  • maggieandmillieandmollieandmay

    how did you borrow the books if you can’t get to the library when it is open

    • Katie

      I borrow books on Saturdays when they are open. I should be able to return them–via the outside slots–at my convenience.

      Do you not agree?

  • http://twitter.com/ClarendonBlvd ClarendonBlvd

    Having moved here this summer, what were the previous library hours back in the “good ole days?”

  • http://barlington.blogspot.com/ bArlington

    So what does get cut? Please. Something. It is amazing that even in this economic situation, ARL seems to find it so difficult to cut back on water parks, excessive landscaping, and other frills. I love ARL but it really seems to go overboard sometimes.

  • Kimberly, Shirlington Branch Library, Acting Branch Manager

    Hello Katie,

    Arlington Public Library strives to process all returns efficiently and accurately. We apologize for any inconvenience the occasional error may cause. If a customer notices that returned items are not credited to his or her account, please call the branch right away or speak to a staffer in person. We will begin searching for the items immediately and in almost all cases, the borrower will no longer be held responsible at that point.

    Here are more details on borrowing, renewing and returning items: http://library.arlingtonva.us/departments/Libraries/about/LibrariesAboutLibraryCardsServices.aspx

    Please let me know if I can be of any more assistance. I can be reached at 703-228-6546. Thank you for your comments, for using Arlington Public Library and we hope we can meet your expectations in the future.

    • Westover

      Great service Kimberly!

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