Despite Ray Bradbury’s Efforts, a California Library Closes

From the New York Times :December 9, 2009
Despite Ray Bradbury’s Efforts, a California Library Closes
By JENNIFER STEINHAUER

LOS ANGELES — Even the author Ray Bradbury put up a fight, but it was not enough to save the H. P. Wright Library in Ventura, Calif.

The library, like so many around the country, had fallen on hard times as city and state budgets tightened. Mr. Bradbury, a fierce advocate for public libraries, appeared at a fund-raiser last June aimed at helping to save the ailing branch. While that helped the library hang on for a bit, the long-term picture was bleak, and a recent bond measure that would have helped close a $650,000 deficit sunk.

The library’s final day on Nov. 30 was met with a candlelight vigil. “Needless to say, they put up a good fight,” said Sydney Weisman, a spokeswoman for the San Buenaventura Friends of the Library, which tried to keep the library afloat.

Libraries, like many publicly financed institutions, have been hit hard by the recession. Systems across the country have shortened hours, closed branches and in some cases threatened to close down entirely until they were saved by legislators or private donations. Several law libraries across Connecticut will close early next year.

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