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Library Board Makes Tough Decisions

Staffing decisions voted on unanimously on Monday, May 6 by the board of library trustees at a special meeting were rescinded by the library board at the regular monthly meeting on June 10. At the May 6 meeting, the library board voted to abolish one fulltime (35 hours/week) typist clerk position, one fulltime (40 hours/week) maintainer position and three part-time typist clerk positions. The library board was informed on May 31 that civil service would not approve some of the above changes. Additionally, contrary to their prior understanding, the library board was informed by the village counsel that part-time employees were not required to be laid off before laying off full-time employees. As a result, the personnel decisions were rescinded at the Monday, June 10 library board’s regular meeting.

At the June 10 meeting, the library board voted unanimously to abolish two full-time typist clerk positions, one full-time maintainer position and one full-time maintenance helper position effective July 5. The library board also voted to create a 4/10 maintainer position and 4/10 maintenance helper position effective July 8.

The library board of trustees is not in favor of laying off staff.  Given the reduction in the village contribution to the library, and looking at the two largest categories—personnel and library materials, tough decisions had to be made. The library board did not want to reduce library materials further, which have been reduced about 40 percent during the last several years. Although all layoffs affect services, the library board feels that the lay-offs decided upon will have the least negative impact on services. All layoffs still need to be voted on and forwarded by the village to civil service and approved by them.

The difficult decisions approved at the May 6, 2013 meeting to increase overdue fines to 25 cents a day and charge patrons 10 cents a page for printed paper were implemented as of June 1st and continues to be in place. The decision to close on Sundays is also still in place. However, the Library traditionally is not open on Sunday in the summer through mid-October. The Library Board agreed at the June 10, 2013 meeting to review other savings options and to reexamine closing on Sundays. A decision on Sundays is due by early September.

Submitted by the Garden City Public Library Board of Trustees