Five Memphis Libraries Targeted For Closure

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(Memphis) Mayor A C Wharton has proposed closing at least five small libraries and the Whitehaven Golf Course and reducing hours at community centers and pools to balance the budget.

All of that would save the city over $3 Million.

The Cossitt Library downtown, Poplar-White Station, Levi and Gaston branches are all being targeted for closure.

The Highland library closed last year.

Under Wharton's budget, community centers would also close on Saturday and city pools on Mondays during the summer.

Orden Williams lives within walking distance of the Gaston Library and Community Center in South Memphis.

He says neighborhood kids need the center on the weekend to stay out of trouble and says he's been using the library every day to find a job.

"It gave me access. With no car, with economic problems I have right now, and no laptop, that little library, with those old computers, is all have to do my work and God bless me to have it. I hope the city doesn't take that blessing away," said Williams.

City leaders say they hope they don't have to close the libraries, but may have no choice.

City council must vote on Wharton's budget before July 1.