Spokane, Wash. - Budget problems have been a concern in Spokane for a while with shortages forcing layoffs across the city. Now it looks like the next victim could be the Spokane Public Library system.
Those who went inside the East Side library would smell cinnamon on Friday. The staff was brewing coffee in the back office. It is warm and inviting. But if money can't be found by 2014, it could close.
Pat Partovi, Director of Spokane Public Libraries says, "The libraries are in trouble."
She says that the amount of money allocated to the library from the general fund has fallen to less than 4.9 percent since 2006.
"The citizens really do care they do love their libraries. they love every single one of them," says Partovi.
They have made it by by cutting staff, cutting supplies, and cutting training. "we have cut behind the scenes as much as we can," Partovi adds, "so we don't really have any where else to go."
They expect a budget deficit of $438,489. savings are due to run out after 2013. The East Side, Indian Trail, and Hillyard locations are at risk of closing if something can't be done by the end of 2013 and looking into 2014.
"I think it's going to be really tough" says Partovi. "We have a year and frankly we have a year."
They are looking into options now. Options like a Levy Lid Lift like in Seattle, or dedicating a percentage of the Spokane City General Fund. They are also looking into a dedicated property tax like in Port Townsend or creating a Library District which would have to be a Legislative change.