The financial crisis is having a huge negative impact on many public sector services, including libraries. From Publishers Lunch (subscription required):
As municipalities across the country face large gaps in their budget, Philadelphia is taking “drastic new steps” to face the “economic storm” that include closing 11 of the 54 branch libraries that comprise the Free Library of Philadelphia. Three other branches will have Sunday hours eliminated. Mayor Michael Nutter said the branches were chosen “after careful review of building
conditions, utilization and distance to other libraries in the Free Library system.” Cutting 220 jobs throughout the city government, approximately one third of those layoffs will come from the library staff.