Killeen Library Possibly Closing To Save City Budget

Emani Payne reports.

KILLEEN - Hundreds of people may lose access to Copper Mountain Branch Library in Killeen and employees there may be let go, it's part of a possible solution the city has carved out to reverse the budget crisis. Killeen residents say they are outraged that their local library is on the chopping block to gain money back for the city. They say Copper Mountain Branch provides important resources like free internet access to apply for jobs or finish homework. They also say people who can't afford computers shouldn't be punished for the city's mistakes.

"There's people who can't afford computers that come to this library. A lot of the educational programs through Killen Independent School District  use the internet so you have to have access to the internet and if you don't have it at home where are you going to go?" says Killeen resident Janine Flecha.

Employees say over 300 people visit the facility everyday, they say it'll be a big lose if it has to close. Councilman Juan Rivera agrees saying the library is a staple in the community and that he's 100 percent against cutting it.

"We're talking about families that are going to lose their jobs. At least twelve positions will be lost and I am not about to put twelve families in the street because of our mistake" says Killeen City Council Member Juan Rivera.

Some residents say if the library shuts down they don't know how they'll keep their children interested in books or if they'll even be able to afford them.

"Me and my daughter have been coming here for over a year now. Every ten days we'll get ten books on one library card and I read to her every night. It helps me because I'm a single parent, I can't afford to just go buy a bunch of books" says Killeen resident Nikita Wilson.

Another Killeen resident says she's had her library card for many years and doesn't want to see the library or their employees suffer.

"Many of them will be without a job and that's never a pleasant situation. That causes problems for their families, the city and for the people themselves. It's always devastating when that happens to someone" says Killeen resident Elizabeth Blackstone.

But citizens say they're not going down without a fight.

"You know since moving to Killeen I'd say my favorite thing about Killeen has been that library.I feel it needs to stay, we at least need to put up a good fight" says Killeen resident Stephanie Moody.

The library could shut down as soon as October first. The city will vote to cut or keep the library at next weeks city council meeting.   


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