Thursday, August 19, 2010

Buffalo/Erie County Public Library system faces layoffs, closures due to budget shortfall

From the Buffalo News:

The Buffalo & Erie County Public Library could be forced to lay off workers, reduce hours and close branches to meet a $7 million shortfall in 2011, the board of trustees was told Wednesday.

Most of the shortfall comes from the county governments announced reduction last month of $4.6 million, which would drop its current library commitment by 21 percent, from $22.1 million this year to $17.5 million in 2011...

Among the wide range of possibilities [library director Bridget] Quinn-Carey presented for discussion were accelerating the shift of purchases to online materials over more costly print, which she acknowledged is controversial; reducing staff hours, including leaving some desks unmanned for periods of time; sharing staff between branches and not anchoring books at branches to save handling and shipping costs.

The more draconian cuts, she said, would result in steep layoffs, shuttered branches and reduced hours.

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