Forsyth County residents push to keep libraries open

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Supporters of the Reynolda Manor Branch Library asked Forsyth County Commissioners Tuesday to save the library from being closed.

This spring, Forsyth County Commissioners put on hold renewing the lease on the branch building until they discuss the budget. County Manager Dudley Watts did not recommend closing the library as part of his proposed budget, but it did make a list for county commissioners who want to explore additional cuts to the county budget.

"All you have to do is go to the library on any day or evening, and you can see a lot of people there," said David Wright who fears closing the branch could hurt those looking for a job.  "For some [the library] is there only source for the internet because they have to apply for jobs and that's the way you do it now days."

In addition to Reynolda, the Kernersville branch is also on the potential cuts list simply because it too is in a leased building.

Reynolda Manor would save the county almost $700,000, while closing the Kernersville branch would save almost $600,000.

"My mother taught me that during the very deep, deep [Great] Depression not one library was closed," said Eunice Heilig a library supporter. "Let’s not dare do it to Reynolda!"

Several County Commissioners say they know the value of libraries and reminded library supporter that these are just ideas.

County Commissioners will begin discussing the budget in detail on Wednesday.