New Jersey library services in jeopardy

    Local libraries in New Jersey may have to cut some services because of state budget cuts. Governor Christie’s budget plan calls for a 74 percent reduction in aid for statewide library services.

    Local libraries in New Jersey may have to cut some services because of state budget cuts.

    Governor Christie’s budget plan calls for a 74 percent reduction in aid for statewide library services.

    State librarian Norma Blake says more than 300 local libraries face the loss of a state technology hookup used to provide access to databases and the Internet.

    “This is devastating at this particular point in time,” Blake said, “75 percent of our libraries say that their primary activity right now is to help job seekers. Do you know that in 78 percent of New Jersey municipalities the only free source of Internet is the public library?”

    The inter-library loan program and the library for the blind and the handicapped are also on the chopping block.

    As lawmakers continue to examine the budget proposal, Assemblyman Dave Wolfe is hopeful ways can be found to prevent some of the library cuts.

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