The Orange Peal
Woodland Public Library Facing CutsWednesday, May 20, 2009 By Josh Le, News Editor/Assistant Editor-in-Chief
The Woodland Public Library is facing drastic budget cuts that if implemented would reduce the open hours from 54 to 20 hours per week. "Going down to only 20 hours a week would effectively decimate the public library and prevent staff members from keeping it operational," said Diane Mahan, Woodland High School librarian. Currently, City Council is attempting to reduce the city budget cuts by 17.6 percent. The city manager's last report to Council on March 31 recommended three options for reducing the budget, all three included reducing library hours to 20-25 hours per week. "Going down to 20 hours a week means 20 hours total," said Mahan. "A library the size of Woodland Public Library simply can't operate on those kinds of hours." The library, which accounts for only 3.07 percent of the city's general fund, has seen a massive increase in visitors over the last several years. Since 2007, computer use has doubled and checkouts have increased by 22 percent between 2007-2008 and 119 percent since 2005. "A library isn't just a place for books," said Mahan. "Libraries provide access to the Internet, magazines, newspapers, periodicals, online databases, DVDs and CDs." Numerous students from Woodland High School utilize the public library for school projects. "There is an entire section specifically for the books that students may have to read in high school," said senior Anthony Ferrendelli. "I mean, I've used the library a bunch of times during my years at the high school. I think it would be unfair if new students didn't have the same opportunities." Advocates for the Woodland Public Library are urging citizens to attend the City Council Budget Meeting on Tuesday, May 26 at 6PM at the Community and Senior Center to show their support for the library. Students here on campus are already voicing their concerns. "We have a petition going around in support of keeping the public library open and hundreds of students and staff members have signed," said Mahan. For now however, the Woodland Public Library will remain open and will continue to provide the best service possible for the people of Woodland.