Summit Free Public Library to Close Sundays Due to Budget Cuts
The Board of Trustees of the Summit Free Public Library has announced that due to budgetary restraints the Library will no longer be open on Sundays, beginning April 1, 2012. The Library will remain open all day on Saturday, and continue to serve the public three evenings each week - Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
During the last three years, the Board of Trustees has had to make painful cuts to the Library’s budget. The New Jersey Library Law requires the city to provide minimum funding for the Library. Prior to 2009 the City Council had exceeded that amount to provide what they termed “an appropriate level of financial support.” This year, only the minimum funding figure was published in the city’s budget. Because of this, the Board of Trustees has been faced with the need to cut $81,000 from the 2012 Library budget.
Closing on Sundays for the remainder of 2012 will save $27,000, and the remaining $54,000.00 will be taken from book purchases, periodicals, operation and maintenance, computer, and audio/visual budgets. This will leave little or no funds for increased maintenance, utility costs and unexpected repairs.
Other local libraries are experiencing similar budget restraints. The Board of Trustees has tried to make responsible choices so that the public will continue to enjoy the benefits provided by the Summit Free Public Library. A 2010 national study published by the Gates Foundation reported that “millions of people see the library as an essential tool to connect them to information, knowledge and opportunities.”
The Board’s announcement concluded with a reaffirmation of the Library’s purpose. “It is our mission to continue to be viewed by the Summit public as an essential part of what a superior community has to offer in 2012.”
The Summit Free Public Library is located at 75 Maple Street. The telephone number is 908-273-0350. The Library’s website is at www.summitlibrary.org.