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Stacks of problems: New N.O. libraries quickly in financial peril

“All is not as it seems in the New Orleans Public Library system. Five gleaming new libraries — central to the recovery of neighborhoods like Broadmoor, Lakeview and eastern New Orleans — have been a big hit since reopening in 2011 and 2012. But the libraries have been so costly to operate that the system has blown through a $12 million reserve fund in about three years, mostly to handle the expanded staffing costs. A dedicated tax millage that hasn’t increased since 1986 — and was rolled back after Hurricane Katrina — no longer raises enough money to cover the system’s personnel costs.” (via

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