NLV, Henderson Libraries Face Budget Crisis | News
NORTH LAS VEGAS -- The next time you go to the library in North Las Vegas, it might be closed. Officials there are reducing hours in hopes that it will save just enough money to get them through their budget crisis.
The Henderson Library District is dealing with their own budget troubles, but they are approaching the problem differently. While North Las Vegas plans on cutting back hours, the Henderson Library District is asking for a tax hike to help pay for the library system.
Henderson Library Director Tom Fay says they are out of options when it comes to cutting costs.
"When we looked everything and all the cuts we've already put into place, reducing our staff by 30 percent, reducing hours, cutting all of our budget items that we could, we decided we had to go out to people before we go to even more extreme measures," he said. "If they vote no on November 6, that means we would close two libraries."
The tax increase would mean the average homeowner in Henderson would pay between $7 to $10 more per year in property taxes.
Henderson library officials say cuts to services are not the answer because library demand is not going down. They register about 25,000 people every year for library cards.
In North Las Vegas, the city's on-going budget crisis has forced the library district to let go of about 40 percent of its staff. Now there aren't enough people to staff their locations.
As of July 1, the Aliante and Alexander branches are reducing hours of operation. The Aliante branch will close on Friday and Sunday and have shorter hours the other days. The Alexander branch will be closed on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday and have shorter hours the other days.
"This is the last resort. We have cut everywhere we can, but in libraries you have materials budget and you have the staffing and those are the two largest expenditures and we've cut both," said North Las Vegas Library Director Kathy Pennell.
Fewer hours means there will be less access to other library services like computers and the internet, but library officials say their hands are tied.
"We are responding to our economic situation and we have lost some staff recently and will not be able to replace that and the only way we would deal with that is to reduce our hours," said Pennell.