Watch: Budget Cuts Hit North Country Library

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Traditionally, Saturday is a busy time at public libraries. Kids are out of school, adults have their weekends.

In Norfolk, the thing that's missing is the library.

Effective January 1, Hepburn Library cut its hours, including closing on Saturdays, in response to the loss of $6,000 in funding from St. Lawrence County. The library has an overall budget of about $100,000.

Faced with a huge county budget problem, county legislators pulled funding for all libraries in 2013.

"We're taking five hours off for the week, total," said Vicky Brothers, the library's director.

"Normally we're open nine hours a day. We're gonna knock that down, close Saturdays. The impact is gonna be felt in the community."

Funding is a perennial problem for libraries, worse now in parts of the north country.

"When times are bad, we get cut. When times are good, we don't get money put back in, so we suffer really long term," said Emily Owen of the North Country Library System.

"Libraries are going to have to start really narrowing down their focus, and not be everything to everybody anymore," said Brothers.

Hepburn Library's hours are: Monday, Thursday, Friday - 10-12 pm and 2-8 pm. Tuesday, Wednesday - 10-12 pm and 2-9 pm. Closed Saturday.
 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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