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updated: 1/13/2011 5:17 PM

Naperville library considering cuts to budget, hours

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Naperville's three public library facilities could each close for five additional days during the coming fiscal year while also dealing with reductions in their circulation, reference and program departments.

The library's levy request of $12,450,000 for fiscal year 2012 was 3.15 percent, or $400,000 less than the previous year, but city council members asked the library board to consider as much as $300,000 in additional abatements.

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During a lengthy workshop Wednesday night, library board members discussed the possibility of closing each of the three libraries -- Nichols, Naper Boulevard and 95th Street -- for five additional days at a projected savings of $35,000 a day or $175,000 for the year.

The library board also is considering cuts of $50,000 to the $3.1 million reference department budget, $100,000 from the $2.4 million circulation budget and as much as $25,000 from the $3 million materials budget.

While all of the cuts total $350,000, the board would present the city council with $250,000 in savings while hoping to keep roughly $95,000 to put into a merit pool and charge staff with finding more should the city decide to give nonunion employees up to 2 percent raises.

The library board will meet again Jan. 26 to finalize its recommendations to the city council. Staff members will work on specific line items in each budget before that meeting.

The board's eventual recommendations will come before councilmen at a Feb. 7 workshop.

"That's it. We go in and show them we were able to find $350,000 but we also have to show them how much it hurts," Trustee Jeff Davis said. "They need to see what $350,000 in additional cuts looks like to the services the library provides. The services will be less than we've previously been able to provide."

Once the board makes its presentation to the city council, the council is expected to review the proposal before deciding how much of the library's levy to abate in March.

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