R.I. Library Report writer
PROVIDENCE - The city apparently has proposed reducing its $3.5 million appropriation for libraries, according to the Providence Community Library, which operates nine branch libraries.
The cut would slice about $355,000 from the city's support, and, next year, put in jeopardy the $784,000 grant-in-aid that PCL gets from the state, library officials said.
Library officials are hoping that the city council and administration will restore most of the funds before the budget is finalized.
However, if the reduction stands, the PCL may be forced to temporarily close the branches, the very action it has tried to avoid since successfully winning the right to manage the branch system nearly three years ago.
Meanwhile, a cut in city support could trigger a reduction in state aid, which requires Rhode Island communities to appropriate at least as much money in one year as in the past.
A local cut can put in question a community's entire grant-in-aid, and even if the state orders a "waiver," the grant will be reduced, since it is calculated as a percentage of a community's library budget allocation.