February 17, 2018

Memphis-Area Libraries Scrambling for Support

By LJ Staff

Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton has proposed cutting the county’s contribution to the Memphis Shelby County Public Library and Information Center from $5.6 million to $3.6 million, as part of the elimination of county funding for the libraries. According to the Commercial Appeal, the suburban cities most affected could cut hours or services or add funding; three have explored hiring Library Systems and Services Inc. (LSSI), which operates outsourced libraries in several states. “We listened to the presentation, but that option is way down on our list of choices,” said Jay Rainey, chief administrative officer of Bartlett. Commented the newspaper, “While a reduction in library funding would be difficult to defend, a reasonable case can be made for reassessing how library operations are funded.