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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Culture > Books > Budget cuts taking Gwinnett County library branches out of Latino communities

Budget cuts taking Gwinnett County library branches out of Latino communities

LatinaLista — Gwinnett County, Georgia is home to one of the state’s largest Latino communities. It’s also home to some of the most stringent county budget cuts being exercised in these recessionary times.

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The most drastic budget cuts are being applied to the county’s library system. It seems the Gwinnett County Library Board has to cut it’s operating expenses and they’ve found a way to do it — remove all the books from three select library branches and convert them into computer labs.

The only trouble is that a lot of the patrons of these libraries are Latino. The public outcry over the proposal to strip these branches of all books has been loud with the Gwinnett County Commissioners now getting involved.

A bilingual campaign to save these libraries has been created called “Save the Community Library/Salva Las Bibliotecas de la Comunidad.”

Now, the Gwinnett County Library Board is saying that they could keep some books at these branches turned into computer labs.

While times are hard for libraries across the country, it is especially disappointing to eradicate those branches that lie in the heart of a demographic where literacy is a big issue.

In a study last year entitled Latinos and Public Library Perceptions, it was found that over 50 percent of Latinos do use public libraries.

Hopefully, the Gwinnett County Library Board can find a creative way to keep these branches open in the communities that need them the most.

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