ALDERMAN SAWYER SUPPORTS MAINTAINING LIBRARY FUNDING IN THE 2012 BUDGET
Alderman Roderick T. Sawyer of the 6th Ward supports maintaining library staffing and hours of operation at its current levels. “This is not the time to be laying off workers,” Alderman Sawyer said, “the city council must do what it can in order to maintain services.”
Not only is the library facing a reduction of nearly 33% of its staff but there will also be a reduction in hours. Furthermore, in communities that are facing challenges in bridging the digital divide there needs to be an expansion in community resources provided by the public library system, not a reduction. Job searchers need to be able to look for jobs, update their resumes and print out cover letters at our public libraries. Alderman Sawyer joins those who believe that the reduction of hours will disproportionately affect lower income communities.
While joining others who are looking for alternative savings or revenue that could offset covering the cost Alderman Sawyer is focused on a serious political reality. Funding for the Chicago Library System was never intended to be covered by the corporate fund, the initial ordinance called for all operations to be handled through a real-estate levy. Many years ago the decision was made to transfer a part of the budget to the corporate fund, a decision which is leading to the service cuts requested in this budget.
“Right now it seems like we are asking our workers and communities to once again pay the cost for the politicians’ short term political decisions. That’s not right and I can’t support it.”