Seventeen libraries are on a preliminary list of facilities selected to close in 2006 as the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library system deals with a multi-million dollar shortfall in county funding. Also on the list are nine branches that are considered candidates for consolidation. The closings and consolidations together should save the library system nearly $5 million next year when county funding is expected to remain at current levels. Libraries will also be asked to reduce their budgets by 20 percent in the year's final quarter beginning Oct. 1. The preliminary closing list, reviewed by the library system's board of trustees today, will be presented to the full board during a meeting Thursday. Branches that could close are: * Alden * Angola * Blasdell * Boston * North Cheektowaga * South Cheektowaga * Depew * East Clinton, Kaisertown district in Buffalo * Eden * Kensington * Lake Shore * Martin Luther King, Buffalo's East Side * Mead, Lovejoy district in Buffalo * North Collins * Parkside Village, Town of Tonawanda * Williamsville * West Falls, Town of Aurora Others considered for consolidation are: * Elma and Marilla * Kenilworth, Brighton and Greenhaven in the Town of Tonawanda * Fairfield and North Park in North Buffalo * Dudley and Cazenovia in South Buffalo Libraries were put on the list based on a set of 19 criteria that included building condition and size, handicap accessibility, size of meeting rooms, visits and circulation. Library Executive Director Michael Mahaney stressed that the list is a draft and subject to change.