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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Friday, September 6, 2002

Libraries meet budget without cutting hours

By Jennifer Hiller
Advertiser Education Writer

State libraries will not have to trim hours or services to cope with a 2 percent budget cut this year, State Librarian Virginia Lowell said yesterday.

As long as there are no more budget restrictions, the libraries will be able to adjust without users noticing a difference in the services they receive.

"We've tightened the belt, and we think we'll make it," Lowell told the state Board of Education at a meeting yesterday. "That's without further restrictions. So light candles."

This year, the state library's budget was trimmed by $424,504, or 2 percent.

The library system will cope with the cuts by not hiring new people when employees leave, lowering the number of student helper hours and reducing collection purchases, even with the cost of library materials rising by 11 percent each year.

Statewide, the library will have $1.17 million for purchasing library books and equipment.

The system has had to cut purchases in recent years to deal with budget shortfalls.

Library branch managers have started to receive notice this week from Lowell's office about their allocations for the next year.

In general, Lowell said, the branches will just have to operate with less money.