Wisconsin News

South-Branch Library in La Crosse at risk of closing

Library Task Force trying to solve $250,000 budget gap

South-Branch Library in La Crosse at risk of closing

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - The South-Branch Library in La Crosse is at risk of closing if the city doesn't come up with a plan to save it.

Right now the city has three libraries and their annual budget is $5 million, but it is being stretched to the max.

Now it's up to the city council: should the libraries' budget increase or can cuts be made in other areas.

La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat created the La Crosse Library Task Force to help resolve the budget issue, which is short $250,000. However, at a meeting Thursday night some criticized the task force and said they aren't doing the best job they can to find a solution.

Andrea Richmond, chair of the Library Task Force. said they are continuously working on solving the problem because she knows how important the library is to the community.

Miriam Pohlar and her daughter come to the library as often as they can.

"It kind of depends on the time of year and how busy we are," said Pohlar.

But if it was up to her daughter, she would love to go to the library more often because she loves to read.

They live on a farm in Stoddard, so when they aren't busy doing chores they head to the South-Branch Library

"Here it's homier, more relaxed, less kids going in and out, and it just seems more accessible for her," said Pohlar.

Due to a recent budget crunch, the library is at risk of closing.

"We need to keep the South-Branch open," said Richmond. "We've suggested ideas of consolidating some things," said Richmond.

Others have suggested putting it to referendum in the fall.

"That does cost money for the taxpayers to have a referendum on the ballot," said Richmond.

Richmond recommends using an outside consultant.

"Take a look at our operations; are we at the libraries doing the most efficient business possible?" asked Richmond. "I would hate to have any major cuts until we know what can be done there."

Although the city council decides the amount of funding for the libraries, they do not control how the money is spent -- that is up to the Library Board.    

The Library Task Force has a meeting next Wednesday to discuss all of their options.

Top Videos

Latest News

This Week's Circulars