June 19, 2018

Erie County PL, PA Gets Budget Reprieve

By LJ Staff

The Erie County Council, PA has agreed to provide $800,000 to keep all six branches of the Erie County Public Library open next year, though with reduced hours for the second time in a year. Like other libraries in the state, Erie County is reeling from the loss–still not restored–of half of state funding, about $1 million. The library was considering closing four branches next year of no new funds could be funded, although at hours that will be reduced for the second time in a year. Even with the new $800,000 from the county money, the library will have to cut about 16 jobs, the Times News reported.

Moreover, the county funding isn’t stable. County Executive Rick Schenker said it’s “pretty obvious” that the county can’t afford to run the all six library branches over the long term. The Erie County Library Foundation has money to build branches but worries whether there will be enough operating funds. “I’m not going to build buildings and not have them open full time,” said Foundation Chairman James Spiegel.