The Press of Atlantic City comments on the cuts in an editorial published today:
But area county and municipal budgets do need to be cut substantially, and libraries aren’t and won’t be the only targets. And the reasonable minimal reductions made to library services in Atlantic County and Atlantic City show officials value the libraries and simply are not exempting them from what’s necessary.
The loss of Monday evening hours at six branches of the county library and Sunday hours at the Atlantic City Free Public Library is still painful. Libraries have a lot to offer, all of it good for people and the community, so any loss is difficult.
While librarians and fans of culture in general can’t be happy about the cuts, they should take heart from the considerable outpouring of public support for the libraries. When Atlantic County held a hearing on its $201 million operating budget, nearly all of it went unremarked while the $8.7 million for the library system was the focus of a long debate that led the freeholders to take another two weeks to review the matter.