Residents attending a public hearing on proposed cuts to the James Prendergast Library on Monday night told City Council members to look elsewhere for economies in the 2005 budget.
The Council's Finance Committee has proposed cutting $10,000 in library funding -- backing away from an original plan to slide $18,000 from the 2004 funding level.
Several library officials attended the hearing, where Jamestown resident Mike Williams Sr. urged the Council to maintain the current level of library funding for the sake of youngsters.
"I feel it's good for the kids," he said. "I was up there (in the library) just the other day, and there were so many kids there. I think it's important that they can learn about their history. I don't they should have their funds cut. . . ."
The City Council will hear more from the community during a public hearing on the budget next week.
Council President Lillian Vitanza Ney said the Council has received many comments on the library.
"Many people were here this evening, bringing the library to the floor and recommending that the Council not cut anything to the allocation to the library, which currently stands at $370,000 in the executive budget."
Ney said she was heartened by the large turnout.
"To be honest with you, I think we should be pleased and gratified that the public understands what a valuable asset this library is," she said. "As far as I'm concerned, the increased publicity on the library is only for the good."
Ney also suggested that it's also important that the community continue to support the library with private contributions.
Library Director Catharine Way has said state aid has been cut 5 percent, and that local contributions, both private and from foundations, has fallen.
The Council's budget hearing is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Monday in City Hall. The Council will vote on the budget Dec. 6.