Ansonia library in jeopardy following proposed budget - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Ansonia library in jeopardy following proposed budget

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Ansonia library was in jeopardy following proposed budget by the mayor. (WFSB) Ansonia library was in jeopardy following proposed budget by the mayor. (WFSB)

It's a place where thousands go to borrow books, but now Ansonia's library could be borrowed on time.

The mayor's proposed budget puts the public library on the chopping block.

Channel Three's New Haven Bureau Chief Matt McFarland spoke with residents and library employees.

The mayor has said this comes down to having to fund the school district and doesn't want to raise taxes.

He said as a last resort, he's proposed a number of cuts, including the library.

Those closest to the library said this would be devastating to the city.

Books filled the shelves as light poured in through the windows.

For Mary Gibson, Ansonia's library has been a part of her life for as long as she can remember.

"I used to just take books off the shelves and sit there and read and this is where I found my love to read," Gibson said.

That love was then passed down to her kids.

"My children came to the story hours, they had library cards, my grandson is 8 and last year he got a library card," Gibson said.

But library's days could be numbered if the mayor's proposed budget is adopted, slashing the library's yearly by more than $370,000.

"When I was told, my jaw hit the floor. I've never heard of a library, a town going to that extreme," Capone said.

Maryann Capone is the library's director-she along with six other full time staffers would be out of a job.

"The director would be cut along with the children's librarian, the cataloger, the clerks, the technician, all full time staff, we'd be looking at two to three days a week run by part-timers, but there would be no new materials being selected," said library director Maryann Capone.

That would include no new books or children programs.

According to the friends of the Ansonia library, last year more than $61,000 thousand people visited the facility, borrowing more than 47,000 items.

While they've gotten support on Facebook, members said they need people to contact the mayor, their alderman and state representatives.

Those at the library and the mayor have said the city's budget and the library's future will come down to how much state funding it gets in regard to its school district.

There will be workshops and hearings before the board of alderman must approve the final budget later this spring.

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