I’ve written about it before. The Pomona Public Library public library is one of the treasures of our area. Over the years it has become an integral part of our lives. Shirley uses it regularly; I use it occasionally. But we both love it. Currently our we have a display on near eastern archaeology at the library. For over fifteen years we have donated a modest amount each month to the library’s acquisition fund. Shirley served on the Pomona Public Library Foundation for a couple of years. During their high school years our kids researched term papers there. While the library’s collection of books on the ancient near eastern is, as you might expect, limited, they do have a couple of things that even the local university research library does not have. In an effort to save money, for the last two years the library has been open only twenty nine hours a week.
And now, after 125 years of operation, it may all end or at least it may be suspended for a year. Because of ongoing budget problems the city council is considering moth balling the library and laying off its wonderful staff. The staff has already been given notice.
David Allen writes in the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin that when word came that the City of Pomona would not receive $1.1M in disputed sales-tax revenue it was counting on,
Suddenly the “unpalatable” options listed as alternatives to the fire cuts were the only ones left to close the gap, according to Mark Gluba, assistant to the city manager.
Closing the library, which costs $1.6 million per year to operate, as well as other layoffs may be the only solution, Gluba said.
“This is not a knee-jerk cut. This is a last-ditch effort to balance the budget,” Gluba said.
[. . .]
Closing the library isn’t certain, although there seems no obvious way to avoid it other than a donation from a deep-pocketed angel, assistance from L.A. County or some sort of miracle.
(Can library fines be jacked up to $10,000 per day? Just an idea.)
The City Council signed off on the cuts in a closed-session meeting June 4 after learning the bad news about the revenue loss.
Final action, though, is dependent on approval of the budget, which may occur at Monday’s council meeting.
If this happens it will be a sad day at our house and a sad day for the other 125,000 people who use the Pomona Public Library every year. I haven’t been to a city council meeting for a while. I think I’ll drop by Monday evening. Our written communication is already on the way.