Prince George’s County libraries may take a page from retail bookstores and add cafés to public libraries. “I don’t want to live in a community that doesn’t have libraries,” said Del. Aisha Braveboy (D-Dist. 25) of Mitchellville who introduced a new bill calling for a task force to look at whether cafés or other retail options should be available in libraries to help attract patrons and add revenue. “We’ve lost a lot of our bookstores. ... We’ve run out of places where people can gather for book clubs or talk about books.”
Since the financial crisis, the library system has seen a 24 percent drop in its operating budget since fiscal 2008 and fiscal 2012, said Kathleen Teaze, director of the county’s library system. Those cuts have resulted in the system not filling 16 positions, furlough days and a roughly 17 percent drop in the system’s hours of operations. The system had six libraries in 2008 that were open on Sundays, but Sunday service was eliminated in 2011 due to budget constraints, Teaze said.
Braveboy said the county lost two Borders bookstores when that chain collapsed in 2011.
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