Placer County will tell you this is not a story about closing libraries, but rather saving a library system.
“We don’t have enough resources to keep them all open right now,” said Library Service Director Mary George. “So some tough decisions have to be made in order to save the entire library system.”
As of now, Placer County has 11 libraries serving about 190,000 people. But, since 2008 the library system has been losing a lot of money. George estimates between $200,000 and $400,000 anually. George believes the answer lies with closing two of the libraries.
On April 7, she will recommend to the Board Of Supervisors to Decommission the libraries in both Loomis and Meadow Vista. By doing so, George says it will allow the system to break even. Then George plans to seek additional funding for many of the overdue improvements to the nine remaining libraries left open.
“It’s truly not about buying books and putting them back on the shelves. People want different formats now, they want electronic resources, DVD’s, stream-able media. So that requires broadband and technology.”
On the other side of the fence is Jam Chimera with the Friends of the Loomis Library.
Chimera is gathering signatures and speaking out against the proposed closing.
“It’s a David versus Goliath story,” she says. “It really is.”
But George doesn’t see it that way.
“What I’m trying to do is preserve it, and make it the best it can be for future generations.”