public libraries

Jessica Meszaros / WLRN

The Miami-Dade County commission voted eight-to-four to approve a $54 million budget for the county's public libraries Thursday night.

Terry Murphy, board member with Friends of the Library, says it was an 81-percent increase from what Mayor Carlos Gimenez first proposed in July.

"This is a real symbolic victory that says when the community speaks out and says what the priorities are, the county commission listens," he said. "This was a tremendous victory for the people of Dade County tonight."

Creative Commons

Several of the biggest libraries in Miami-Dade may stay open seven days a week in October.

The interim director of the libraries has released a tentative library schedule based on what county budget commissioners tentatively passed in June. It gives the libraries almost 53 million, more than last year.

The extra money will allow the five largest branches to add Sunday service, meaning they’ll be open every day of the week.

Miami-Dade County Public Library System / Courtesy

Friends of the Miami-Dade Public Library will host a book sale Dec. 11 through Dec. 14 at the Main Library branch at 101 West Flagler St.

Thousands of donated books, CDs and DVDs will be for sale. Guests are invited to "go green" and bring reusable bags to carry their books.

This summer, Miami-Dade libraries faced budget cuts which threatened to close down dozens of branches across the county.

Donna Turner Ruhlman

Our holiday spirit showed last week, when we ran stories of name-your-price puppies at the shelter, the allure of Miami's old Jewish delis and speculations about the future of our local book industry. But here's what you liked best:

Who's Saving Miami-Dade Libraries? These Guys

Oct 30, 2013
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.

Is Florida Back To Work Yet?

Sep 13, 2013

Touting his job-creation record, Governor Rick Scott says it’s time to cut taxes. But with questions about both the state's unemployment rate and education spending being lower than before the Great Recession, Democrats say the Governor’s priorities are off. 

In Miami-Dade, an active social media campaign and vocal supporters at town halls have saved public libraries from budget cuts - for now - after the county commission decided to raid its reserves. So was Mayor Carlos Gimenez wrong to declare that the "age of libraries was probably ending?"  

What Does The Future Hold For Miami-Dade Libraries?

Sep 13, 2013
Arianna Prothero/WLRN

The libraries in Miami-Dade County have had a roller-coaster ride this summer. In July, the county decided to not raise taxes even at the expense of closing down 22 libraries. Over time, the number of libraries slated for closure grew smaller until it arrived at zero, but the system still faced cuts to staffing and hours of operation.

Sorry, bookworms.

In the minutes of last Tuesday’s meeting of the Miami-Dade Commission, it reads, “In libraries, these adjustments will result in the reduction of hours of service and closure of 10 storefronts and up to 12 other libraries.” Meaning, to avoid increases in property taxes, the commission proposes to eliminate 22 of its 49 public library branches.