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Efforts Continue to Save Local Libraries

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – Citizens in Buffalo are fighting to keep some library branches from closing.

Monday night, a rally was held outside the Fairfield Library on Amherst Street in North Buffalo. Kathy Peterson of the Parkside Community Association says Fairfield is scheduled to close by mid October. She says they are trying to convince leaders to hold off on the closing until the end of the year.

"We really want to look at what the operating expenses are," Peterson said. "We want to find out what it actually costs to keep it staffed. It is a city owned building, so there are two separate issues. There's an issue with the building and that's one of the reasons for the decision to close it. But we want to find out how expensive it would be to keep it open, even with a part time staff."

Also Monday night in South Buffalo, Friends of Cazenovia Library held a meeting to talk about their next steps in trying to save their branch. John Klukowski is president of the group. He say the branch is slated to close next month.

"The libraries are fully funded for 2005, so we can't understand why they're closing them now," Klukowski said. "Rural libraries on the closing list were taken off after promising to raise money to fund them. Well, we offered the same thing. But the library board and director are not listening to us."

Eight out of 15 Buffalo branches are slated to close.