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Library closing possibly delayed; not everyone is happy

The Hamline-Midway Library in St. Paul might not be closed until the end of the year, Mayor Chris Coleman and library director Melanie Huggins said Tuesday at a meeting with neighborhood residents, the Pioneer Press reported.

With 100 residents gathered in the library's basement auditorium, Coleman and Huggins explained the budget challenges for the city and the possibility of closing the library, the Star Tribune reported.

Coleman has suggested addressing a $44 million budget shortfall for 2008-10 by cutting 14 percent of funds across all departments, the Star Tribune reported. This included a $2.1 million reduction for libraries, cutting jobs, hours, funding for books and materials at libraries, and closing the Hamline-Midway Library by the summer, the Pioneer Press reported.

Coleman and Huggins said they have not made a final decision, but Coleman said he was not planning for anything to happen to the library building until the end of the year, the Pioneer Press reported.

As residents expressed concerns about the changes or closing of the library, Coleman and Huggins proposed that the library find ways to collaborate with other institutions or organizations to use the library space, the Star Tribune reported.