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Library System Reviews List of 24 Branch Closings

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – The planning committee for the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library System is now reviewing a list of 24 library branches for closing.

The committee met Tuesday and began mapping where the closings would occur. Library Director Michael Mahaney says he was told by the committee to make any necessary adjustments to make sure there are an adequate number of libraries in all areas of the county. He'll report back to the committee next week.

But Mahaney says closing 24 libraries might not even be enough to cut costs.

"The amount of money we would save from closing all 24 libraries would be somewhere between $3.5 million and $3.9 million," Mahaney said. "Yet, the system needs to come up with something like $6 million to bridge the gap next year."

Mahaney said that means the rest of the system will still have to take more cuts. He says the work he'll have to do in the next week will be the most difficult of his 30 years with the library system.

Here is the list of 24 libraries now considered for closing:

Alden, Angola, Blasdell, Boston, Brighton in the Town of Tonawanda, Cazenovia in South Buffalo, North Cheektowaga, South Cheektowaga, Depew, East Clinton, Eden, Fairfield in North Buffalo, Greenhaven in the Town of Tonawanda, Lake Shore, Kenilworth in the Town of Tonawanda, Kensington, Marilla, Martin Luther King on Buffalo's East Side, Mead in the Lovejoy District, North Collins, North Park in North Buffalo, Parkside Village in the Town of Tonawanda, West Falls in the Town of Aurora and Williamsville.