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 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.
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