Washington District Library considering closing Sunnyland branch, seeking public’s input

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WASHINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — Washington District Library is considering closing its Sunnyland branch due to low traffic.

Lexie Walsh, Director of Washington District Library, said numbers at the branch have been declining for the past five years. She said visits to the branch have declined by 14% and circulation decreased by 15%.

“Those are really big decreases in just five years,” she said. “Costs for everything, not just at the branch, are increasing and usage at the branch has been decreasing. Our door counts are down. Our computer use is down, our circulation is down, so we are considering the future of the branch, including possibly sometime next year, closing the branch and having only one location.”

She said nothing has been decided, and they want the public’s input on the future of the branch. Walsh said they are looking to make a decision that makes sense financially, but it would be sad to see the branch close.

“It’s just at the branch that things are decreasing and it’s difficult to see the library not get used obviously. I’m a public librarian and I think that public libraries are an incredible resource that I want everybody to use every single day. But because they are such an incredible resource, we need to make sure that we are using our funds appropriately and providing the best services that we can to everyone,” she said.

The public input session is at 7 P.M. on Oct. 12 at the Five Points Banquet Room in Washington.

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