Priorities in Indianapolis: City Finds Millions for NBA Team but Cuts Library Budget

Dozens of readers stretched out with books on blankets and in lawn chairs on the American Legion Mall across the street from the main branch of the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library, reading quietly to themselves to protest proposed budget cuts that could reduce hours and close library branches.

"I am here supporting the libraries of Indianapolis and hoping they don't get closed," said Mindy Grayson as she cracked open a weathered copy of the 1931 classic, The Impatient Virgin.

The city's library system is facing a $7 million budget deficit by 2014 as acknowledged by Mayor Greg Ballard Monday. "Over the past few months my administration has engaged the library system to prevent branch closings," Ballard said.

Ballard's comment came as he announced a $33.5 million deal to loan operating funds to the Indiana Pacers to keep the NBA team at Conseco Fieldhouse for the next three years.

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