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Library Task Force: Libraries Uptown Make Sense

Much attention has been focused on the library task force's recommendations to get more money for the library system and, if not, close some branches. The group also made clear last night that it remains committed to the main library uptown and Imaginon. The question is in what form? The two make up about a quarter of the library's $25 million budget. So a lot of people openly wondered last year if they were worth the cost as cuts were made throughout the system. Last night, the task force gave its answer: for the most part, yes. The group told the county commission and the library board Charlotte needs a major library presence uptown and Imaginon is worth its $2.7 million cost. The library is geared toward children and offers interactive exhibits and theater productions. However, task force chairman Jim Woodward says the county should fund it separately. "To see it as one more branch doesn't make sense. It's not a branch library, in that sense, but again it's an extraordinary asset and we, the task force, wants to ensure that it continues to serve the community in the way that it is," said Woodward. The task force does have some problems with the main library. Woodward says there's too much unused space. The group recommends asking a committee to look at whether to consolidate, downsize, or relocate the library to Imaginon or another building uptown.