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Eugene Library Branches Could Close

EUGENE, Ore. — Both branches of Eugene’s public library could be shut down because of the city’s budget shortfall.

Members of Eugene’s budget committee have proposed six options to save money. Five would shut down the Sheldon and Bethel branches. It’s a move that would save about $651,000 in the next fiscal year, which starts in July. The chairperson of the committee says the sixth option would keep both branches open and cut all city departments by 2 percent.

“People will say I love the libraries, and I will say I love the library too, and then ask them for what their alternative suggestions would be, because the fact of the matter is we don’t have enough money. We have a budget gap, and we have to figure out how to deal with it,” Laura Illig, Eugene Budget Committee Chair.

“The library is so important. We really would like to see no cuts at all. We think the library is an essential part of Eugene. It’s one of the things that makes me most proud to live in Eugene,” said Jenny Jonak, President of Friends of the Eugene Public Library.

Anyone who wants to speak out about the proposals can attend public hearings on Jan. 21 or Jan. 29 at Harris Hall.

The city manager will then finalize the budget for city council approval.

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