LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) -

How to save the La Crosse Public Library branches from closing is the focus of a new city committee.

Public outcry at the end of last year put enough pressure to keep the south branch open in the midst of budget issues. The branches do have shortened hours compared to last year.

However, funding beyond 2014 is unlikely to be available.

A newly formed Library Task Force met for the first time Tuesday night.

The group of council members and citizens will put together a plan with the hopes of keeping staffing and programs available. "I really feel confident in that group that they can come together with some good recommendations for how we can maybe change up some of the staffing, some of the programs to meet those demands, and to fit it into a budget that the taxpayers can afford," said Mayor Tim Kabat.

To keep both branches open this year, the Library board dug into its reserves and the city provided additional money.