Cuts coming to Miami-Dade County libraries

22 branches to close, 251 workers to be laid off

MIAMIMiami-Dade commissioners passed a flat tax rate Tuesday, which will bring cuts and layoffs to the county's libraries.

"People have said that the age of the library is probably ending," said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez. "The people of Miami-Dade County do not want their tax rates raised."

At the commission meeting Tuesday, Miami-Dade Library Director Raymond Santiago listed the 22 branches that would close, adding that 251 workers would be laid off.

Santiago said up to 7 million people go to county libraries each day.

People packed the Lemon City branch. Those there said libraries give children somewhere to go, especially important during the summer months.

"It's not problems and the kids around here have something to do," said one woman.

Teenagers added that they hang out at libraries with friends.