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The economic crunch is taking its toll. Eleven of 54 branches of the Free Library of Philadelphia will close, and 111 positions will be lost in what Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter called "midyear revision of epic proportions," an effort to cut $100 million in response to a "dramatic decline in tax collections and increased pension costs."
The library faces a 20 percent reduction, along with recreation and parks, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Nutter, who as a city councilman earned LJ's Politician of the Year award in 2005 along with fellow councilman Frank DiCicco for protecting the library from cutbacks, defended his choices, saying, "Painful program and service cuts are necessary, but I want to assure you that we've preserved our core services."