Immediate Release: March 29, 2016
(Hartford, CT) — On Monday, March 28, the Connecticut State Library Board voted to close the Willimantic Library Service Center and consolidate service center operations into the Middletown Library Service Center by the end of June. State Librarian Kendall F. Wiggin proposed the consolidation in response to budget cuts and changes in how the State Library, through the Division of Library Development, delivers statewide services. The facility in Willimantic is a leased property and the facility in Middletown is state owned. By consolidating the operations the State Library anticipates saving over $190,000 per year. The State Library’s budget has been reduced by 25% since 2009 forcing a number of program reductions. First authorized in 1959 when statewide library programs were under the State Board of Education, the service center was established in the Windham-Tolland County area to provide schools and libraries in that area with supplementary library service. Later, responsibility for statewide library services, including the service centers was transferred to the State Library. Wiggin noted that the Division of Library Development is scaling back supplementary library services in favor of library consultants working directly with libraries and groups of librarians. He also noted that an increasing number of the Division of Library Development’s continuing education activities are being offered via the Web and that workshops and trainings can be held in area libraries instead of the service center.
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