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Rolling library to be parked due to budget constraints

Date Posted: 2008-02-14

The popular traveling library operated by Naha City will cease operation in the new budget year because of the city’s financial worries.

The rolling library costs ¥18 million to operate each year, and 2008 would be worse because of the need to purchase a new vehicle at a cost of ¥17 million. Naha City officials say there simply is not money available in the budget to fund the much loved and appreciated library, which it has operated since 1976. The library travels around the city, visiting apartments and housing complexes twice each month.

“We know the city has financial difficulty,” one unhappy library user complains, “but why should we cut our children’s dreams?” Other users say the travelling library is the only way elderly and disabled people have a chance to obtain books. “You can’t cut the library,” one argued. “Please continue.”

A junior high school girl says “I love to read library books because this travelling library has more than in my school.” The library, she says, gives her the opportunity to read more “because it comes near my apartment.”

Naha City officials say they’re looking for less costly alternatives to the travelling library, including posting books at community halls and apartment complex common stations. Other cities with rolling libraries—Nago City, Okinawa City, Ginowan City, Urasoe City, Itoman City, and Miyakojima City—all say they’ll continue to popular services in the coming budget year.

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