As was reported in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel today, the Milwaukee Public Library submitted its 2009 budget earlier this month, which included a number of difficult service reductions. The budget included the reduction of hours at the Central Library and the closing of four neighborhood libraries. This requested budget was presented in response to the library’s allocation, which was significantly reduced. Unfortunately, Milwaukee is not immune to the economic downturn happening around the country and just as Milwaukee families are grappling with how to pay for the increased cost of gas and food, we at the Library are also forced to make difficult decisions. We will be working closely with the Mayor, the Budget Director, and the Library Board of Trustees throughout the summer and while I am hopeful that the situation will improve, we will continue to work to provide quality services in the face of these budget cuts. On behalf of all of us at the Library, I appreciate your patronage and your support.