Could Crozet Library Close?

This would be a devastating loss for both Crozet and Scottsville.

From The HooK:

Not only is Crozet not getting the mammoth new library it was expecting, a possible ten percent budget cut might mean closure of library it already enjoys, and Scottsville could lose its library with just a five percent cut. This is according to Anthony Townsend, president of the board of the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library.

And from NBC29:

With Albemarle County proposing budget cuts of 5 or 10 percent, the library’s board says it will not stand for it.”Such cuts would likely force the closure of Albemarle’s two smallest branch libraries in Scottsville and Crozet,” Townsend said.The library’s president says they will not have Albemarle dictate how its money is spent, especially when it comes to its hours of operation.

If you’re wondering whether Crozet needs a library, consider this story last month on RealCrozetVA:

I suspect no one has or will move to Crozet because of the library, but having a good library, as we do now, is a component of a community with a high quality of life. One that values knowledge, literature, community and the sharing of all three. Having a new, more adequately-sized library is a promise that the County of Albemarle made to its citizens and is a promise that they should keep.

The current Crozet Library is 1,728 square feet. That is smaller than most private homes in Albemarle County. For many years the minimum square footage standard for public libraries, set by the State Library Board of Virginia, has been 4,500 square feet. Last January, the State Library Board adopted a new standard of “.6 SF with .8 desired” for public libraries serving populations up to 25,000. Many years ago, the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors, through the CIP process, adopted .7 SF as Albemarle’s goal. Based on those standards, if Crozet’s service area population (that is, the population within 6 miles of the library) reaches 25,000, the public library should be in the square foot range of 15,000 SF – 20,000 SF.

A rule of thumb in public library development is that when a building’s circulation of library materials (checkouts) reaches 25 per square foot per year, the library should plan for expansion. Here’s how JMRL’s annual circulation per square footage compared as of July 2009: Central Library, 11; Gordon Avenue Library, 25; Scottsville Library, 17; Greene County Library, 13; Louisa County Library 7; Nelson County Library, 17. The two Albemarle libraries that have been discussed for possible expansion are as follows: Northside Library (Albemarle Square), 34; Crozet Library, 76.

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