Battle brewing over Providence library branches

PROVIDENCE, RI – Stewards of Providence's nine branch libraries are accusing the Providence Public Library board of breaching an agreement to transfer ownership of the branch buildings to the city.

Providence is currently leasing the buildings for the price of $1 a year. The lease expires July 1st. Marcus Mitchell of the Providence Community Library Board, which manages the branch libraries, says without a transfer agreement branches could close.

"It means there's a strong possibility there will be library closures and severe reduction in services or no services," says Mitchell.

William Simmons, the chairman of the Providence Public library board disputes the assertion that they promised to transfer ownership of the branch libraries. In a Providence Journal editorial published last year he said they only agreed to "negotiate" terms of conveyance.

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