Seattle to ask voters for money to keep libraries running

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by LINDA BRILL / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on April 9, 2012 at 6:36 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 9 at 6:41 PM

SEATTLE - With no computer at home, Marilyn Niles depends on the public library access to look for work.

"It’s a lifeline. I wouldn’t be able to find a job probably,” she said.

Upgraded technology and more library workers are promised as part of the library levy.

Also, after four years of budget cuts, with closings and furloughs, the levy will restore some library hours. It will add Sunday hours at 15 branches and restore seven-day-a-week service at the Columbia and Northgate branches.

Without the levy, libraries could face another $5 million cut, says the mayor.

"This year we're looking at an approximately $40 million shortfall in our general fund,  so libraries would be one of the places that potentially twould take significant cuts,” said Mayor Mike McGinn.

The median homeowner will pay $52 a year for seven years.

Ten-year-old Emily Cary, checking out books for a school report, says if she could, she'd vote yes for public libraries.

"At the school library a lot of times the books aren’t there or they’re checked out,” she said.
 
The levy will raise nearly $123 million over seven years.

 

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