Libraries in limbo because of budget stalemate

CANTERBURY & GROTON, Conn. (WTNH) — The hours at the Canterbury Library and Town Hall have been cut back because of the budget stalemate at the state level. But after digging deeper News 8 found out the cutbacks go well beyond hours of operation.

“Our staff hours were cut drastically,” Library Director Marion Sheehan told News8 in an email Tuesday morning. “Some staff members lost half their weekly hours.”

canterbury 4 Libraries in limbo because of budget stalemate
(Photo: Tina Detelj/WTNH)

Related: Canterbury can’t afford to see its own audit

“As soon as some funds were available we were able to reinstate Saturdays,” she added. “We are still closed on Mondays until the Town passes a budget.”

In Groton the public library has not had to cut hours but the library director tells News 8 she is concerned about the possible loss of what money it gets form the state’s borrowIT program. Groton loans out books to a lot of out-of-towners so they get a lot of money from this program. It funds their public computing, tech lab, printing services, and self check outs.

canterbury 3 Libraries in limbo because of budget stalemate
(Photo: Tina Detelj/WTNH)

“It covers a lot of things that are very important to us and to our patrons and without that money that’s in jeopardy,” said Library Director Betty Anne Reiter.

At the Bill Memorial library also in Groton they are concerned because they depend heavily on the state library for materials and they believe cuts there will hurt them.

“We’re kind of in a holding pattern waiting to hear what the results are,” said Libary Director Wendy Connal.

groton public library 2 Libraries in limbo because of budget stalemate
(Photo: Tina Detelj/WTNH)

Bill is an association library so it only gets 8.4% of its funding from the town. It relies heavily on the state funded non-profit Connecticut Library Consortium to get discounts on DVDs, books, and technology.

“The Connecticut Library Consortium saved Groton libraries of which there are three over a $150,000 last year,” said Connal.





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