NEWS

City manager grants Toronto libraries reprieve

09/14/2011 01:58 EDT | Updated 11/14/2011 05:12 EST

If he has it his way, Toronto city manager Joe Pennachetti said no libraries would face closure in 2012.

Library closures and cutbacks have been a hot topic this summer after an independent auditor's report suggested wide-ranging cuts in branches and services for the city's libraries. This provoked a backlash among Toronto residents and its most famous authors.

"The city manager will not be recommending any kind of closures in 2012," Pennachetti told a board meeting on Tuesday night.

Still the library board must find ways to cut 10 per cent of its budget. It is mulling plans such as reducing services and offering buyouts to dozens of workers.

The board passed a motion Tuesday to offer some employees a buyout package.

"We're targeting approximately 50 positions, perhaps up to 100," said Anne Marie Aikins, spokesperson for the Toronto Public Library..

Council must still approve the move.

Toronto resident Joe Rivera breathed a temporary sigh of relief after hearing that cuts were not in the immediate cards.

"The library has always been an important institution for my family since we came here," he said. "My kids actually grew up learning at the library."

The board will meet once again next month to decide what cuts will be made.

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