Board of Finance cuts to Edith Wheeler Memorial Library's requested spending increase includes $8,116 for part-time staff, $3,707 for books, $7,118 for bibliomation and $4,407 for materials.
Michelle Turbak of Monroe, a children's services librarian, spoke against the cuts during a public comment session at Thursday night's budget workshop.
"I know we're in a difficult economy with constant belt tightening, but cutting the library hurts those most unable to pay for things out of their pocket," she said.
Turbak told the board about all of the unemployed patrons who come in every week to search for jobs, some who have no Internet connection at home; of senior citizens who come for the cultural programs and reading materials, children's programs, and all of the practical uses for bibliomation.
Town Councilman Nick Kapoor, who said the library has become a community center, also expressed disappointment in the cuts.
But Board of Finance Chairman Mark Reed said the Edith Wheeler Memorial Trust says all income from it should be spent every year in full for use of the library, adding that has not been happening. As a result, he said Bill Ehlers, chairman of the Library Board of Trustees, told the board $271,000 has accumulated.
Reed also said the finance board has not seen statements or any other documentation for the account.
"The library should work with us on guidelines on how the trust should be spent," Reed said. Of the cuts he said, "It's the library's onus to make it up with its trust and next year have a plan and more transparency."