Nashville Libraries Seek To Upgrade Facilities And Add Hours - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Nashville Libraries Seek To Upgrade Facilities And Add Hours

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by Aundrea Cline-Thomas

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Increased hours and building improvements were all part of the Nashville Public Library's wish list presented to Mayor Karl Dean.

More and more people are visiting Nashville's libraries to utilize the various resources and get lost in the stories.

"I come to this library once a week at least," patron Mark Farber said.

"I love the stories. I love the characters," patron Peg McNabb said. "It's education. It's the world, it's windows."

This year, Nashville's libraries are on pace to reach 4.5 million in circulation. Director Kent Oliver doesn't want the momentum to slow down.

"This library is supported by the community in such a great way," he said. "People understand the importance."

Mayor Dean has asked city departments to present a two percent budget cut.

"What it would look like for us is elimination of community library," Oliver said about the effect a cut would have on library services. "We're also looking at the elimination of the talking library."

In a city where one out of eight adults cannot read, according to the Nashville Adult Literacy Council, Mayor Dean is considering other options.

"I come into this with a pretty strong predisposition in favor of library services and the importance of those to the community," Mayor Dean said.

That's why Oliver also presented a wish list including opening the downtown branch on Mondays and community branches on Fridays. It would come with a $1.5 million price tag.

"We think it's important that people have access to our buildings both for the collection and the programming that's going on," Oliver said.

It's an idea visitors support, but Mayor Dean has to determine if it's an idea the city can afford.  

The library is also asking for more money to upgrade its facilities, including opening the new southeast branch in Hickory Hollow. It amounts to nearly $12 million. Mayor Dean will consider all of the requests and present his budget to city council on May 1st.

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