Politics
5:05 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Who's Saving Miami-Dade Libraries? These Guys

Library staffers and supporters urged Miami-Dade County commissioners to fund the libraries at a September budget hearing.
Library staffers and supporters urged Miami-Dade County commissioners to fund the libraries at a September budget hearing.
Credit MARICE COHN BAND / Miami Herald Staff

A special task force charged with figuring out how to fund and run Miami-Dade County’s libraries officially started work Oct. 30.

Even though a grassroots campaign to save county libraries from massive funding cuts prevailed this September, county commissioners exhausted their reserve fund in the process.

That means the county’s library budget faces a projected $21-million short fall next year.

Mayor Carlos Gimenez is leading a 17-person working group to come up with a long-term solution for the county’s libraries so the system doesn’t have an annual funding crisis at the end of each budget year.

The task force draws representatives from a wide swath of organizations, ranging from foundations to unions.

Here’s the full list of the organizations represented on the task force:

AFSCME Local 199

Alliance for Aging

City of Hialeah

City of Miami

City of Opa-Locka

Friends of Miami-Dade Public Library

GSAF/OPEIU Local 100

Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners

Miami-Dade County

Miami-Dade County Council of PTAs/PTSAs

Miami-Dade County League of Cities

Miami-Dade Public Library Advisory Board

Miami-Dade Public Library System

The Children’s Trust

The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce

The Knight Foundation

The Miami Foundation

Town of Bay Harbor Islands

The mayor’s administration is also looking into how cities separate from the county’s system—like Hialeah and Miami Shores—run their libraries.

Gimenez has set a February deadline for the task force to come up with recommendations.

Click Here To Read More From Our Partners At The Miami Herald