Link to April 18 Pioneer Press article, "To balance books, libraries close, take new forms".
Excerpt: Because funding is evaporating, hours are being slashed, staffs are shrinking and a noose is tightening around many libraries. In gravest danger are small libraries such as Arden Hills — inefficient but beloved social hubs of many neighborhoods.
Librarians aren't giving up without a fight.
They point out that library demand is increasing. They are herding some libraries into safe havens inside other buildings. They want to shift public loyalties away from the smallest libraries to bigger, centralized libraries.
"This is a seismic change," said Washington County library director Patricia Conley. "All over the country, we have been doing more with less for years. Now we are doing less with less."
The crisis is nationwide and unprecedented in the history of American libraries, according to Sari Feldman, president of the national Public Library Association. "It's a tragedy," she said.