Birmingham votes to close libraries

By Melanie Posey

BIRMINGHAM, AL(WBRC) - In an effort to ease some of Birmingham's $70 million budget deficit, the Birmingham Library Board voted unanimously Thursday to close three of the city's branches.

This includes the East Ensley, Slossfield and Inglenook Libraries.  The board president, Gwen Welch, says these locations were chosen because of structural concerns and because they were close to other branches that offered similar services.

"It's always difficult because the citizens have gotten used to having libraries in their neighborhoods," Welch said after the meeting.  "But we had to do what we needed to do to work within the constraints of the city's budget."

Welch says the board has to cut $900 thousand from it's budget.

Besides closing the three branches, it will also help by not filling vacancies, and by keeping only the central and four regional libraries open on weekends.

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