Kiryat Shmona library - Yaron Kaminsky - 19082011
Children browsing the stacks at Kiryat Shmona’s embattled library. Photo by Yaron Kaminsky
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The Kiryat Shmona municipal library reopened a month ago, but its still awaiting money for day-to-day operations.

The municipality has not yet transferred funds to the library as stipulated under the Public Libraries Law nor has the Culture Ministry transferred the necessary aid to it, leading to fears that it may have to be shuttered again.

Last year the library and municipal community center were shuttered for lack of funds, which a court ordered liquidated.

Thanks only to intervention by the government, which about a month and a half ago announced it would transfer the money needed to pay off the centers debts, the court rescinded the liquidation order, enabling the library to reopen.

Dispute over authority

After the liquidation order was rescinded, the court appointed a receiver for the community center, though he was given hiring and firing authority beyond what the city desired.

"If the municipality does not transfer the money, it is required by law to transfer," said attorney Uri Raz, the court appointed receiver, yesterday, "I will have to have return to court."

According to Culture Ministry sources, in the wake of financial deficits at the local community center, which operates the library, a legal difficulty has arisen that is preventing the ministry from transferring the budget directly to the library.

"The Culture Ministry," they stress, "has been making efforts in recent months to get a commitment from the receiver that the budget the ministry transfers directly to the library will go toward purchasing books and funding cultural activities and not toward covering the community center's deficits and creditors. However, the aforementioned commitment has not yet been sent to the ministry, despite several promised made by the receiver appointed for the community center."