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Alexandria Libraries Falling Victim to Harsh Economy

Michael Gryboski
By Michael Gryboski
Posted on Jun 16,2010
Filed Under News , Community,
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Photo by FLICKR/jimrettig/2333737926/<br /> <br />Alexandria's main Charles Beatley Library.
Photo by FLICKR/jimrettig/2333737926/
Alexandria's main Charles Beatley Library.

ALEXANDRIA, VA. - The City of Alexandria has joined other local governments in announcing curtailed library hours starting this summer.
 
Fairfax County and Arlington County have already reduced hours of operation in the face of declining tax revenues.  However, difficulties in Northern Virginia with budget shortfalls are minor compared to the near-bankruptcy of New Jersey and California.
 
The Examiner reported earlier this year that Alexandria was facing a $44 million shortfall. Decreased library hours are one of many tough cuts the city has to make, Joshua Bowman of the Examiner reports.
 
In neighboring Arlington, the board of supervisors fired more than 40 county employees, which included six librarians, in order to make ends meet.
 
These numbers sound dire, but they are miniscule compared to Newark, NJ.
 

Photo by FLICKR/jimrettig/2332910279/
Photo by FLICKR/jimrettig/2332910279/

Newark was able to cut its deficit by $105 million by cutting its libraries budget, but that still only came to half of its overall budget gap.
 
The D.C. metropolitan area in general and Northern Virginia in particular have proven to be more economically resilient than most regions.
 
According to the newest data from the Department of Labor, unemployment in the D.C. area is at 5.9%, which is lower than many areas during better times.
 
In the boom days of 2005, for example, that same 5.9% was the unemployment rate in Chicago.
 
Times remain tough for many people and the cuts to libraries are only one symptom of a larger economic crisis.
 
Thanks to plentiful government jobs and a strong technology sector, Northern Virginia is doing better than the rest of the nation.

To Read the Washington Examiner article, Click Here:
 http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/local/blogs/local-opinion-zone/Tough-economic-times-hit-public-libraries-in-northern-Va-95460934.html#ixzz0pndywTpK



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