Branch library to stay

The Duncan branch of the Washoe County Library will remain open, following citizen protests against a planned closure.

In an Aug. 10 message sent out to one of the leaders of the anti-shutdown campaign, County Commissioner Marsha Berkbigler wrote, “I hope you've heard that the Duncan Traner Library will continue to operate, and any plans to close it have been dropped. We still have some work to do since we don't have it open enough hours, at least in our opinion, but both Commissioner [Kitty] Jung and I are committed to work on this particular project.”

It was the second effort in three years to shut down the Duncan branch library, located in a low-income neighborhood between El Rancho Drive, Sutro Street, Oddie Boulevard and Interstate 80. The Reno-Sparks NAACP championed keeping the library open, and even expanding its hours.

Founded in 1997 as a result of fund-raising by a group of local activists, including Darryl Feemster and Charvez Foger, the library is open both to neighborhood students and the larger public. According to one protest leader, Andrew Barbano, “It's a stand-alone, small building that serves students most of the time but is also available to the community—a whole five hours a week. Duncan and Verdi are the only remaining ‘mixed-use' libraries.”

One meeting of the county library board on the fate of the Duncan branch, held last month, took place at the South Valleys Library Branch, about as far from the Duncan branch as it is possible to get while still staying in the Truckee Meadows.

The branch is closed five days a week and open from 3 p.m.-5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.