Prince William County is looking at 33 percent reductions. Loudoun is
considering program cuts of 5, 10 or 15 percent. Fairfax agencies have
been ordered to find cuts worth 15 percent, which would mean closure of
14 community libraries on Fridays, elimination of two hours of Sunday
service at eight regional libraries and reduction of new materials by
25 percent. Fairfax libraries would eliminate 305 jobs and purchase
70,000 fewer materials annually if these recommendations are followed,
according to a county report.
Fairfax, the region’s largest jurisdiction and one of the country’s
wealthiest, had taken an aggressive approach to maintaining and
expanding its library system before the downturn. The county opened
three new branches in the past year — in Oakton, Fairfax City and
Burke Centre — where soaring, spacious architecture and an abundance
of computer stations, meeting space and comfortable chairs have
attracted brisk business and happy customers.
Here is the story. New library books will not, alas, be a countercyclical asset. Comovement is a bitter pill to swallow.