LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) -- In September, the Middletown Library will be reopening in the East Government Center with reduced hours and employees, as soon as materials can be transferred and staff for the location can be hired.
“No viable sites or ones at little to no cost have been identified at this time,” said Library Director Lee Burchfield. “Therefore, we will be reopening the Middletown Library in its former location.”
This library closed in June, due to the Metro Government’s ongoing budget challenges.
Mayor Greg Fischer said the decision to temporarily reopen the library is not fiscally responsible.
“Among the sacrifices taxpayers are making given the funding constraints without new revenue sources, I do not believe reopening a library located less than 5 miles from a brand-new regional library is the best use of limited resources that will likely be further reduced in subsequent years," said Fischer. "Council's decision to temporarily reopen the Middletown Library is not fiscally responsible and deepens inequities across our community. However, it is part of the budget they approved so it is the executive branch’s responsibility to implement that budget."
Reopening the Library in September depends on the hiring of additional personnel and the moving of books and other materials back into the space. The $412,500 allotted by Metro Council’s budget amendment was not enough to fully fund staffing and operation of the library for the entire fiscal year.
Because of that the branch will operate at reduced hours—40 hours, five days per week—and at lower staffing levels. The site will offer book services including book drop, book reserve pickups, and a limited browsing collection, in addition to computer access.
At the end of the fiscal year, when Metro Government’s lease on the East Government Center facility expires, the library will either close again, or have to be relocated if funds are available.