Commissioner Bovo urges Mayor to explore savings to keep libraries open
MIAMI, FL – Miami-Dade County Commissioner Esteban Bovo, Jr. is urging Mayor Carlos Gimenez to explore cost savings to keep more libraries open and to provide more details regarding the impact of proposed library budget cuts to residents in his district.
Palm Springs North Branch Library, which occupies a storefront at 17601 NW 78 Ave. in District 13, is one of the 22 County libraries that have been identified by the Mayor’s office for possible closure.
Commissioner Bovo has requested the Mayor’s office to:
• Provide current usage data and operating costs for the Palm Springs North Branch Library
• Determine the possible savings to the County if the Town of Miami Lakes were to opt out of the County’s library district and take over the operating expenses for the Miami Lakes Branch Library (which is not slated for closure)
• Consider using existing County-owned facilities as small branch libraries instead of leasing private storefront space, as the City of Hialeah now does successfully
• Consider any commercial uses that may be introduced to our library system that could generate additional revenues for our libraries such as commercial bookselling and food vendors
“While my first priority remains with protecting the taxpayers, I believe that those of us in County government must explore every alternative before laying off employees or closing library facilities. Perhaps now is the time to reinvent our libraries,” Commissioner Bovo said. “While the library concept has evolved over the years, libraries are a lifeline to many in our community who simply do not have access to the Internet or other information platforms. Additionally, many of our hardworking library employees often serve as the only adult mentor in the lives of our community’s young people.”