Closed last January following a 40 percent cut in the budget, library officials hoped to turn the 50-year-old building into a museum and cultural center.
The move triggered an outcry in the community and led Robert Buggs to form Citizens to Save the Gary Public Library. The group gathered 5,000 signatures in opposition, filed a court injunction and lobbied to get library board members recalled.
On Monday, Buggs became a member of the library board, taking his oath office at a School Board meeting. Buggs replaced former board president Tony Walker who resigned. Walker had led the movement to transform the library into the cultural center to cut down on expenses, but still offer services to the public.
Property tax caps, low tax collections decimated the library’s budget, forcing layoffs and leaving the board to consider closing branches or the main library.
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See Also: Gary Public Library Web Site