At Tuesday’s work session, the Fort Worth City Council received an informal report about closing of the The Butler Outreach Library Division (BOLD).
The BOLD opened in 1997 inside the Butler public housing community. Although open to the entire city, BOLD is strategically located to serve the residents of Butler.
As the residents of Butler are moving out and into housing across the city, the Fort Worth Public Library has been in conversation with Fort Worth Housing Solutions for over a year to determine the right moment to permanently close. A decision was made to stay open through summer 2019 in order to bring the Mayor’s Summer Reading Challenge to residents.
However, from July, 2018 to July, 2019 visits to the library dropped by 97%.
“I’m not sure we could have stayed until there were zero people there,” City of Fort Worth Library Director Manya Shorr said.
The BOLD library will permanently close at 5 p.m. on Saturday Nov. 2, 2019.
Also, the Cavile Outreach Opportunity Library (COOL) is set to close by the end of the year, though no official date has been announced.
Library officials said the cost savings from the closure will be negligible. The city does not pay utilities to Fort Worth Housing Solutions and the five computers and two phones will be repurposed to other library locations.
“A critical component of our strategic plan is more community outreach. Library leadership is committed to exploring innovative ways to deliver library services throughout the City of Fort Worth whether through outreach, non-profits, retail locations or other developments,” said Theresa Davis, Fort Worth Public Library System communications manager.
Employees will also be relocated, including the new outreach division, which will deliver library service to areas of Fort Worth that do not have libraries, as well as continued service to the Butler area community, and the Cambridge Court Library in Las Vegas Trail to assist with the higher number of users.
The $14,000.00 budget for books and other materials will be transferred to the Cambridge Court Library, which is currently unfunded for material.