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August 2, 2015

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Budget woes force North Las Vegas to cut back library hours

Image

Richard Brian

A view inside the Alexander Library before the March 2009 grand opening in North Las Vegas.

NLV libraries reduce hours

Library hours in North Las Vegas will be cut back starting this summer due to budget cuts. The library district, which operates from a special library fund, is laying off four employees to close a $310,000 deficit, according to library director Kathy Pinnell. The layoffs necessitate the reduced hours of 37 to 47 hours a week, Pinnell added.

New library hours

Alexander Library, 1755 W. Alexander Road

Wednesday and Thursday: Open 10:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Friday and Saturday: Open 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Monday, Tuesday and Sunday: Closed

Aliante Library, 2400 Deer Springs Way

Monday through Thursday: Open 10:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Saturday: Open 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Friday and Sunday: Closed

Library hours in North Las Vegas will be cut back starting this summer due to budget cuts, according to a press announcement released Monday.

The North Las Vegas Library District is scaling back its hours of operation as the cash-strapped city struggles to close a $31 million budget shortfall.

The library district, which operates from a special library fund, is laying off four employees to close a $310,000 deficit, according to library director Kathy Pinnell. (North Las Vegas libraries receive their funding mainly from declining property tax revenue and library fines.)

The layoffs necessitate the reduced hours of 37 to 47 hours a week, Pinnell said. Before the recession, North Las Vegas libraries were open about 63 hours a week, Pinnnell added.

The reduced hours — effective July 1, the start of fiscal 2013 — will impact two North Las Vegas libraries: Alexander and Aliante libraries.

Alexander Library's hours of operation will be reduced from 47 hours a week to 37 hours per week. Aliante Library's hours of operation will be reduced from 56 hours a week to 47 hours a week.

The North Las Vegas Library, 2300 Civic Center Drive, will keep its current hours of operation.

The library budget cuts come as demand for library services has risen during the recession, Pinnell said.

Families facing financial difficulties now rely more heavily on affordable library books and movies for entertainment, she said. Residents who may have cut back on Internet service also count on library technology to conduct job searches, she added.

"We are committed to give them the best service we can during the hours we are open," Pinnell said.

Like their northern neighbors, Henderson’s libraries have also been affected by budget woes.

Mounting budget cuts have prompted the Henderson Library District to consider putting a tax initiative on the November ballot to stave off branch closures, reduced hours and layoffs. Like the North Las Vegas Library District, Henderson libraries receives the bulk of their funding from property taxes, which have plummeted in the wake of the housing bust.

The Henderson library proposal calls for a tax increase of 2 cents per $100 in assessed property value, or a $14 tax increase on a home assessed at $200,000.

If voters do not approve the tax increase, the Henderson district may be forced to close its Galleria and Malcolm branches, according to Thomas Fay, executive director of the Henderson Library District. A recent fundraising campaign to raise $1 million in a year brought in about $100,000 as of last month.

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