Saturday, September 27, 2014

Council Proposes Steep Cuts to Library Funding--Public Petitions

The council's current budget cuts funding to the Johnson Public Library by 10%, or $239,804.  This cut would bring the library's funding to pre-2010 levels while only saving 0.25% of the city's budget.

Since 2010 the Library has added an extensive technology and instructional infrastructure that responds to the demands of the children, teens, and adults in the community.  The program offer hands-on instruction in several areas and include a Bilingual Outreach Coordinator and other programs for the Latino Community.  The library also added two full-time Security Guards, who worked with the Hackensack Police Department to help eliminate disruptive activity on Main Street.  The library also offers evening programs for the community that brought almost 10,000 attendees to Main Street last year alone.

The  citizens group "Save the Johnson Public Library," will be in attendance at the October 21, 2014 meeting of the city council to distribute "Save the Library" t-shirts, collect signatures for a petition to request action by the city council, and to explain the impact the cuts will have on the community.

2015 Possible closure, Fewer Classes, Programming, Events, Technology for Children and Adults No Digital Products or Community Outreach!

  • Possible closure ONE or more days a week.
  • Reduction in materials and media resulting in long waiting periods for high demand books.
  • No hands-on programs for adults and children with outside instructors.
  • No digital products like Hoopla and Zinio.
  • No community presence or events such as at Street Fair, National Night Out and Haunted Library.
  • No funds to replace wi-fi routers and switches resulting in frequent extended loss of wi-fi.
  • No funds to replace damaged public computers, resulting in fewer computers.
  • Reduction in Security staff.   
  • The library building will also deteriorate; funds will not be available for needed maintenance and repair.

2016 Your Library will be CLOSED Two or more days a week

  • No classes for children – Kids Tech Time, Robotics, Chess, Story Time and more.
  • No technology seminars or assistance.
  • Elimination of events:  Haunted Library, Kid’s Tech Time, Book Give-a-Ways.
  • No more classes: one-on-one tutoring in Excel, Word, and Resume-writing. 
  • Lack of staffing and lack of funds to pay heat, electric, and air conditioning bills. 
  • Minimal funds for new books or new media, and Security  
The group encourages residents to come to the council meeting on October 21st to make their concerns known to the council.  Residents can also sign a petition by visiting or the main desk at the Johnson Public Library.


  1. Can only say it is time for a change in the city government and in the members of the council. There are other ways to make cuts in the city budget. There is a big push on this so called Cultural Arts Center which is mired in cost overruns. there was a big push for the park in front of the Cultural Arts Center. Notice the words "culture" repeat themselves. To cut the budget of the library runs counter to the word "culture". The Johnson Public Library is a landmark, beautiful property on Main Street. If anything, its use to the public, and hence its budget, should be increased. I say throw the bums out.

  2. The important thing is that the cops all got their raises.

  3. If that was a sarcastic comment please refrain. The police of the city deserved
    their raises long overdue. Shame on the city administration and former interim city manager for stonewalling. This current city council gotta go. The library needs to serve the public and even expand its services. There are other ways to make the cuts. Start with cutting the city council.

    1. Deserved? They were grossly overcompensated before the raises.

  4. Truth be told...there are other Bergen county municipalities that have a "volunteer" mayor and council serving the public. If they were really concerned about the residents, they would offer their salaries in lieu of cutting an important service to the community. Whatever happened to supporting the families in our community? You are making the children suffer. These people rely on after school programs for their kids. Some families cannot afford laptops so these children use the library facilities to do their homework. Not everyone can afford to go to Barnes and Noble to buy all their books. It keeps them out of trouble while they do something productive until a parent comes home. No longer are the days of a stay at home mom...libraries are there for our kids. Obviously they don't care because they're not from our town or their kids are grown and they don't need the library's services anymore. Shame on them. Most towns have expanded their libraries. Seems ask this council wants to do is take away services from the taxpayers.

    1. Those 'volunteers' aren't really. Many of those 'volunteer' council members usually get a stipend AND medical insurance. Many parlay their council seats into government jobs/contracts for themselves, family, friends or cronies.

  5. A well written and expressed thought. I am baffled by this council putting on a happy face of being do- gooders all the time with so much hostility and mean actions in the air. Couple this with the DPW row caused by 2 council members, and I say throw in the towel on this crew. They are a bunch of hypocrites espousing promises for the good of the city they claim to love, while behind closed doors promoting schemes and actions running counter to their facade. Throw the bums out. Cut their salaries proportionately to cover the issue of the library.

  6. Let's put all the political BS aside. Mrs CANESTRINO find a way not to hurt the library. Rich Gelber

  7. I do not personally see this issue as mirroring "political bullshit". There are a bunch of extremely incapable people serving as administrator of a city within 10 miles of NYC, and their collective decisions and choices and communications are nothing short of a 3 ring circus. Political BS has nothing to do with my remarks. Seeing this crew in "action" is like watching a heart patient flat lined. That's all. Hope you read this note, Mr. Gelber.

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