"Shutting down a library ... that would be like shutting down the arts." That is how Margaret O'Brian feels as many small libraries are about to close as the funding to keep them open just isn't currently available, including the Arden Hills library that O'Brian loves to go to.
But the libraries will not go down without a fight. They argue that the demand for library use has increased. It is hard to justify, however, as libraries nationwide are having the same problem and many are already closed.
Funding for libraries has always been provided by the state, but with the recession nearly 75 percent of libraries have seen their budgets drop.
According to some, the funding hasn't been able to keep up with the demand for nearly 30 years, and now with the demand going up, the funding keeps going down.
For some of those libraries that are extremely struggling, they may not close but hours may be cut from employees or the libraries could be moved into bigger buildings. While in some cases combining the small libraries with other ones has shown improvement, it is still a possibility that many libraries in the state, and country, will be closing in the near future.