Education

How Can Public Libraries Survive?

October 31, 2013

Miami-Dade County has 49 public libraries packed with 1,647 computers and more than 4 million books. What it doesn’t have is enough money to keep the libraries open.

So how can the public library systems survive for years to come?

On Wednesday, a task force convened by Mayor Carlos Gimenez began meeting to try to answer that question.

“I would like for us to create the library system of the future,” Gimenez told the task force in the County Hall commission chambers.

The 17 members didn’t make any suggestions yet. Instead, they started to wrap their arms around the scope of the problem.

The library budget, which is funded by property taxes separate from the county’s general fund, faces a projected $21 million shortfall next year. County commissioners just barely staved off significant cuts this year by raiding one-time reserves.

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