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Local library vote to change governance and funding

By Allison Norlian

HERKIMER, N.Y. (WKTV) - Books, DVD's, E-Books and audio books are four items you would always expect to find at a public library.

However, locals could see less of these library staples at the Frank Basloe Public Library in Herkimer because of unstable funding.

This local landmark draws in the public for reading, learning and an escape. The library is considered a safe place for adults and children to go, even when they just want to hang out.

According to Michelle Andersen, the Chair of the Library Board of Trustee's, this could all change in the next year because of inadequate funding. Andersen believes the only hope is to change the libraries governance from municipal to a school district public library.

Andersen said, " I really think that this redirecting to a public school district library will help us be vibrant and continue to be an anchor to downtown Herkimer."

Currently, the library is appointed funds from the village, town and county of Herkimer and a portion comes from the state of New York and the school district. The hope is that funding will go entirely through the school district and will be voted on by the community.

Andersen says if something is not changed they will have to go into crisis mode and the locals could see hours eliminated, additional day a week they will be closed, books, audio books, DVD's and even teen or children's programs could be eliminated to save money.

James Desroches, an Ilion resident, brings his two children to the library twice a week. He believes if the library has to cut anything, it will be detrimental to his children.

"I think that would be devastating for the area because there are not a lot of programs in the area and a little get a way for the kids is to come to the library."

Voting takes place at Herkimer High School on Tuesday May 21 from 1 to 9 p.m.

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