Dean Wants To Consolidate School, City Libraries - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Dean Wants To Consolidate School, City Libraries

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The libraries inside Metro Nashville's high schools could be in for some big changes.

The mayor said it's time to look at different ways to deal with books.

Dean believes the plan could save the city money.

On Thursday's after school, the East Library is a popular place.

"We hang out with our friends, do our homework, read books and get on the computer," said Diamond Woods, who spends a lot of time at the library.

Nashville's 20 public libraries have a lot to offer and Dean feels they can do more.

"We can bring those resources, that knowledge and that excitement into our schools," he said.

Dean wants to merge the public libraries with Nashville's 18 public high school libraries. 

It's a move aimed at consolidating purchases, check-out systems and staff; extending school library hours; and improving the library space in schools.

"We should bring those together so we're getting the economy of scales and having access to all the books, so there should be a savings there," he said.

In a letter to the interim schools director, Dean told Chris Henson the city and schools will start preparing for the change in January.

"It's just a matter of organizing it and understanding how it all works and going forward with it," said Nashville Public Library Director Donna Nicely.

The mayor acknowledged the plan isn't as easy as simply combining collections.

"It's going to take some money. It's going to take some time. It's not going to happen overnight and there are a lot of things to work through," he said.

But, it's an idea Woods thinks is a good one.

"We could stay at school and still have fun. We wouldn't have to walk across the street in the cold every day," she said.

Dean hopes to have the first phase of the plan up and running by the start of the next school year.

It's not clear if this plan needs the approval of the Metro Nashville School Board.

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