3 A petition drive to save Duval County libraries from the city's annual budget battles that always threaten libraries with cuts .. including some cuts that have been carried out. Local library lovers are now fighting back. They want THIS straw ballot put before VOTERS ..asking them to establish a dedicated source of funding for libraries. Channel 4's Vic Micolucci spoke with the group "Save Our Public Libraries" as they dropped off more petitions with the supervisor of elections. 3 3 :00-:05:06-:10:11- :161:09-1:171:52-1:581:59- 2:2340:54 / 41:15 "they call themselves a grassroots movement and they say they're going anything they can to protect our libraries because they say they are so important for our future."30:27 "as for me, I think I would have died. When i was about 12 and injured if there had not been books for me to hang onto." Mary Lou Southerlin was in a bad accident as a child, and says library books were her outlet as she sat in the hospital bed.29:32 "libraries are important, they're important to the children, they're important to the older folks." And today, she was one of the Save Our Public Libraries volunteers who brought petitions in by the box load...20:29 "nat dropping off petitions" ...dropping off some...02:12 "nat dropping papers on table" 25- hundred more signatures from people supporting their cause. The petitions ask for voters to have the choice to see on the next election ballot whether or not they can establish and independent funding district for public libraries... They say it wouldn't raise taxes, just make sure the money already collected doesn't go to pay for other things.18:52 "it's simply taking monies that are already appropriated to the city, through our taxes, and separating library funds so that they cannot be touched for other purposes. So the libraries will be safe." So far, the group, which has been collecting signatures all across the county, has had nearly 18-thousand of its petitions verified by the supervisor of elections...today's 25-hundred more will make them closer to the 25.931 signatures needed to get the choice on the ballot.Volunteers say saving the libraries should be a top priority even in tough budgetary times...and they think locals agree. 15:44 "I would say that 99% of the people we meet say 'we know what this is about, we want to sign, we're with you.' "42:04 "so they have to get a total of a little less than 26- thousand signatures by january, but the volunteers I talked to say they're gonna push for much higher than that, because they say they want to prove a point about how important our libraries are how much the people of Jacksonville want to keep them. Vic Micolucci, Ch4, TLS."