Arizona: City of Nogales Closes Libraries Out of Frustration With County
Two stories from Nogales International.
1. City shutters libraries out of frustration with county
The libraries in Sonoita, Tubac, Rio Rico and Nogales were closed after business hours Thursday in a power play by the City of Nogales meant to get Santa Cruz County to show its cards about the future of the county’s free library system.
A notice placed by city staff on the doors said: “The Nogales-Santa Cruz Library system will remain closed (until further notice) due to the lack of a funding commitment from the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors.” It listed the county telephone number and directed library-goers to call Supervisors Manuel Ruiz of District 1; Rudy Molera, District 2; and John Maynard, District 3 if they wanted more information “regarding the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors’ commitment to funding the Nogales-Santa Cruz Library system.”
For now, computers have been removed from the libraries in the outlying areas, but City Manager Dille said staff will remain on board in preparation for the scenario that the county “goes in a different direction.”
The six full-time and two part-time employees will remain on the job. “There’s a lot to do,” Dille said.
By Monday, County Manager Carlos Rivera had added an item to the County Board of Supervisors’ meeting agenda for Wednesday that calls for discussion/possible action to approve an agreement with the city to provide library services for the fiscal year beginning July 1. The county had terminated a previous pact when it announced it intended to form its own taxing district. However, the taxing district idea was quashed in 2010 by the supervisors and it never came to fruition.
The notices posted on the library doors listed the names and phone numbers of Ruiz and fellow Supervisors John Maynard and Rudy Molera, numbers that Barquette Kane recorded as Danielle Kane wondered aloud at the decision to close all four branches.
“They ought to have at least kept one open,” she said.
Ruiz also questioned the tactic, saying the city should have kept the libraries open “for the sake of the public.”
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.