CHICAGO (CBS) — It was reading time and protest time for more than 100 city librarians and supporters Monday morning at a rally outside Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office at City Hall.
WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports that one librarian read to children at City Hall about a “big green monster,” but what librarians found even scarier were the mayor’s planned cuts to the library system.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports
“At a time we’re taking more and more things away from our kids, we need to give them something to expand their imaginations,” said Beverly Cook, who has been with the library system for more than 25 years.
The mayor plans to trim $11 million from the budget for public libraries next year by eliminating 268 vacant positions and laying off 284 workers – including two dozen various librarians, 112 clerks and all 146 pages charged with shelving books.
Library student Megan Russell said, “The effect will be horrendous for both children and people that cannot afford Internet and cannot afford books.”
Library supporters arrived at City Hall with more than 4,000 petition signatures backing up their opposition of the library cuts.