Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Murray Hill Neighbors to City: Hands off Our Library, Please; Group Plans a Rally and March to Oppose Cuts to Service

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Murray Hill Neighbors to City: Hands off Our Library, Please; Group Plans a Rally and March to Oppose Cuts to Service

Article excerpt

Byline: MATT DIXON

Supporters of the Murray Hill library are planning a rally to help stave off further cuts to the branch they consider the backbone of their Jacksonville neighborhood.

They'll base the event on a technique that, organizers admit, was more commonplace decades ago.

"We will be having a march to call attention to our plight," said Nancy Morgan, one of the group's leaders. "That's the 1960s model."

On Thursday, members of the Friends of the Murray Hill Library will meet at the Murray Hill Presbyterian Church, where Morgan will address those in attendance before they make the short march to the library.

Though Morgan said she is not yet sure how many will be in attendance, 561 people have signed up to become official group members.

The Murray Hill branch is among five that have had hours reduced to 20 per week and is on the short list of branches that could be shuttered next year because of budget shortfalls.

Morgan said that at the rally she will stress ways to reach out to the City Council.

"We have to be ready when City Council meetings and Finance [Committee] meetings arise," she said. "We need to be very visible."

Patrons of the Murray Hill branch say they are getting involved because of what the branch means to the community.

"The hour cuts have already impacted my schedule," said Mary Parks, as she perused the Murray Hill's DVD collection. "I don't want to go to another branch, I enjoy this one."

Others emphasized that the neighborhood would have a piece missing if the library were to close.

"I have a 4-year-old and an 8-year-old and we can actually walk down there and get armloads of books," said Bonni Woodward, who has been helping organize the rally. …

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