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Ogdensburg children’s librarian may fall under budget ax again

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OGDENSBURG — The Ogdensburg Public Library may have to go a third year without a children’s librarian depending on how its 2013 budget shapes up.

Library Director Wayne L. Miller said Monday that the library’s proposed $605,995 budget for next year may have to do without the position if it’s decided that money from the position’s $34,000 salary can be used to shore up possible cuts in other expenses such as books, heat, light and power.

“It’s not out of the realm of possibility,” he said.

The children’s librarian position has been vacant for budgetary reasons since the January 2011 retirement of Bonnie L. Wright. Funding was restored in the city’s 2012 budget, but the library waited until last summer to look for a replacement. An early 2013 hiring was predicted.

But filling the position in 2013 might not be a sure thing. The proposed $16.9 million 2013 city budget allocates $59,013 less than the $666,018 library officials asked for. It is also $1,129 less than this year’s $608,214 budget.

The library budget’s highlights include $30,911 for book purchases, but that is less than the $35,000 that was requested.

Also on Monday, the St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators approved a $235 million budget for 2013 that, among other things, dropped funding for the county’s libraries. That means $11,502 the Ogdensburg library won’t get next year.

“There is not a lot of loose change out there,” Mr. Miller said.

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