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Schlow Library to Close for One Week Due to Lack of Funds, Launch New Website and Offer Public Parking

by on March 17, 2014 8:23 PM

Schlow Library appears to be doing well with a new website set to launch Tuesday and an increase in circulation.

However, due to an ongoing drop in state funding, the library will close and all employees will go without pay for one week in May.

Librarian Cathi Alloway announced the changes at the State College Borough Council meeting Monday night. Specifically, she says the library will be closed between May 12 and May 18 to help close a budget gap.

While donations from the public hit a record high over the last year, Alloway says cuts in state funding have forced the dramatic decision to close temporarily. Since 2007, Alloway says the shortfall in state funding has totaled more than $900,000.

"I could not balance the budget this year," she says.

While the library is closed, staff will be holding a rally outside to draw attention to the decline in state aid.

While funding has dropped, Alloway says public library use has not. Circulation has increased due to the increase in availability and use of e-books. With roughly 92,000 people using the library's service area, the catalogue saw over 1 million searches in the last year.

"I assure you, the public library at least in State College is not dead," she says.

To better meet the needs of users, particularly those interested in digital items, the library is set to launch a structured website Tuesday that cost roughly $100,000. The site is expected to address consumer needs in the Digital Age.

"Our website was getting old and clunky and it was getting very difficult to use," she says.

The library is also in the process of implementing a new parking program that allows the public to use its lot during after hours.

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Jennifer Miller is a reporter for StateCollege.com. She has worked in journalism since 2005. She's covered news at the local, state and national level with an emphasis on crime and local government.
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