Fulton library regulars disappointed with reduced hours due to budget cuts

Declan Nickerson, 4, is a regular at the Fulton Public Library.

Declan Nickerson, 4, spends so much time at the Fulton Public Library, the staff named him department manager.

"I play with the toys and I watch Mrs. Janelle read stories and I go on my work computer" says Nickerson.

His mother, Kelly Nickerson, is thrilled to see him discover the love of reading at such a young age.

"I don't think he'd be at this level if he wasn't here reading everyday. He loves it," says Kelly Nickerson.

The Nickersons are among several regulars disappointed to learn about recent cuts at the library. Budget cuts have forced the Fulton Public Library to reduce its hours from 54 to 36 per week. So now the library is closed on Monday and on Saturday it's only open from 10am-3pm.

For Jeremy Werdhaugh, that's one less day to search for a job. With no internet access at home, he relies on the library to send out applications.

"That day they close on a Monday does hinder my progress a little bit," says Werdhaugh.

With many people like Werdhaugh out of work and a city left trying to balance its budget, library director Betty Maute, saw the writing on the wall.

"Being that everybody knows the condition the city of Fulton is in and the issues they're dealing with, I can't say it was a total shock," says Maute.

While the city tries to get back on its feet, the library is

trying to help the people of Fulton get back on theirs.

The library is considering a switch to community funding in hopes they'll be able to restore their normal hours.