Norwich library could lose funding - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Norwich library could lose funding

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The Otis Library in Norwich is recognized as one of the top five public libraries in the nation, but they're facing a difficult new chapter. (WFSB) The Otis Library in Norwich is recognized as one of the top five public libraries in the nation, but they're facing a difficult new chapter. (WFSB)
NORWICH, CT (WFSB) -

The Otis Library in Norwich is recognized as one of the top five public libraries in the nation, but they're facing a difficult new chapter.

The library must slash 10 percent of its budget, and that means some services may go.

It is budget season for many communities, and on Wednesday, Norwich city officials sent out mandates to departments to cut costs.

The Otis Library’s budget has to shrink by 10 percent or over $130,000.

Doing that, according to the director, means something has to give.

The library gets about 1,500 visitors every week, and many guests said they depend on the computer service and other media needs, as well as the traditional library offerings.

"This is good for the community. Everybody needs this. It's like a safe haven, you know,” said Jonathan Zadora, a library patron.

Library Director Robert Farwell said the loss in funding means a cutback in services.

"Our envisioned hourly increase this summer will have to be abandoned. It will force us to put on hold several capital projects that we already have plans to pursue,” Farwell said.

Norwich Mayor Deb Hinchey said the mandate isn’t the final word on the budget. Department heads will have a chance next Monday before the city council to argue for the restoration of funding.

"People who can't afford certain things, they are treated as equally as the people who can afford. Those aren't things I think an urban area like ours should cut,” Hinchey said.

Just this month, Otis Library was named one of the top five libraries in the nation.

To the taxpayers who visit regularly, the library is something they depend on.

"If you have to cut services, that's not good,” Charlton Barnes said.

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