Cobb County libraries in danger of closing -

Cobb County libraries in danger of closing

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Source: WGCL Source: WGCL

It's not very big but the Weldon Sibley library in Marietta serves its purpose.

“For some people who don't have computers, some people who don't have access to books like others do, this is the best place to come,” said Cobb County resident David Dale.

Now the place to go for so many is in danger of closing, as county commissioners discuss ways to cut costs in the next fiscal year.

“We have a $30 million shortfall,” said County Commissioner Bob Weatherford. 

Weatherford said commissioners asked county departments to come up with ways to cut or save money to help with that shortfall. Cobb County Library Director Helen Poyer was asked to slash about three million dollars from her budget and drafted a proposal that would close or consolidate eight libraries. 

“Everybody had to come up with some type of cuts,” said Weatherford. 

Poyer’s proposal suggests consolidating the Kennesaw and Acworth libraries and closing the East Cobb, Kemp Memorial, Lewis A. Ray, Sweetwater Valley, Windy Hill and Sibley libraries.

Weatherford said nothing is set in stone yet, but he admits closing less-attended libraries is a real possibility.

“I have no intention of closing a library that's well-used, only those that are underutilized,” said Weatherford.

He said commissioners are considering closing only the libraries that average less than 200 people a day. He said Sibley averages about 109 a day.

Still, for those who use the smaller branches, news of their possible closing is disappointing.

“If you take them all away then everyone is going to get bunched up in one library and you won’t get computer time,” Dale said.

A decision regarding library closures will be decided in July when the board votes on a budget for 2019. There will be several town halls this spring where Cobb County voters will be able to give their opinion on the issue.

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