Eugene's Sheldon Branch Library has been spared from closure. The Budget Committee Wednesday night agreed to keep both branch libraries open and cut back Sunday hours at the main downtown building.
The City of Eugene is facing a $ 2.5 million shortfall in next year's budget. One option under consideration to reduce costs was to close the Sheldon branch library. City Manager John Ruiz proposed using reserves to fund Sheldon for the next year and working toward a voter levy to pay for the branch. The budget committee approved this move, Wednesday. Eugene Library Director Connie Bennett is relieved. She says at budget meetings the public has expressed its appreciation of library services.
Bennett: "The shining light in this whole experience has been the outpouring of community support."
Bennett says opening the Downtown library later on Sundays should have a minimal effect. Sunday's are usually busier in the afternoons.
Bennett: "And so, if we were going to reduce a half a day any day of the week, that's the time that was appropriate to select in terms of minimizing impact."
The budget process is far from over. The City Manager will present a revised version to the budget committee next month.
The budget committee has canceled its March 7th and March 11th meetings. They'll meet again in April.