Link to October 10 Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article.
At a budget hearing before the council’s Finance & Personnel Committee, Ald. Terry Witkowski repeatedly pressed City Librarian Paula Kiely and Library Board President David Riemer to name the libraries on the chopping block.
Witkowski’s far south side constituents are rallying to save Tippecanoe Library. Barrett has said he has received more e-mails, phone calls and letters about that library than any other.
Kiely said the only neighborhood libraries she wouldn’t consider closing are the two newest, Washington Park and Bay View libraries, and the Center Street Library, which is funded by a federal community development block grant. Beyond that, she said, the decision would be based on a combination of neighborhood needs, library usage, building condition and proximity to other libraries.
But it would be up to the Library Board to decide how to weigh those factors, said Riemer, a former city budget director. He said state law gives his board sole power to close libraries or change hours, and even if the council votes to slash funding enough to shut down two libraries, the board could still choose to keep all libraries open with greatly reduced hours.