By implementing system-wide layoffs, furloughs and salary reductions, slashing the materials budget by nearly 20%, and closing all branches of the Harford County Public Library system on Sundays, the Fallston Branch has been saved and will remain open.
The decision and recommendations of the Library Board of Trustees were announced during a Wednesday afternoon press conference.
“The Board of Trustees has removed the closure of a branch, specifically Fallston, from the budget reduction proposal,” the press release states.
A public hearing on the budget proposal will proceed as planned on Thursday evening at 6 p.m. at Fallston High School.
Here is the full press release:
Library Budget Reductions
The Harford County Public Library held a press conference at 3pm today at the Bel Air Branch to announce the Library Board of Trustees’ recommendations for the FY10 budget reductions and the impact these reductions will have on services throughout the county.
“These decisions were not easy,” stated Library Director, Audra Caplan. “There simply is no way for the Library to absorb budget cuts of this magnitude without significantly impacting our services.”
The proposed cuts announced today will be voted on Thursday evening at the Library Board of Trustees’ meeting. They include:
– 10% reduction in staffing through lay-offs, vacancies and salary reductions
– five furlough days for all staff
– closing of the branches on Sunday plus an additional four hours during the week
– reduction in programming for children, teens, adults and seniors
– almost a 20% cut in the materials budget which will reduce the supply of new fiction and non fiction books, talking books, dvds, periodicals, school support materials, children’s picture and story books, teen materials, reference materials for children and adults and online databases
– the closing of the Small Business Center
– reduction in the equipment, maintenance and cleaning budgets
The Board of Trustees has removed the closure of a branch, specifically Fallston, from the budget reduction proposal.
“We want to thank the community for their support during this difficult time,” stated Trustee Chairperson, William Nicodemus.
The Library must make these budget cuts due to a $1.6 million dollar reduction to the FY10 operating budget. This comes at a time when services are at an even higher demand. Customers are utilizing the library system in search of jobs and to write and submit resumes online. Over 1.6 million people have walked through the doors of the Harford County Library System this past fiscal year, a 6.3% increase over last year. The library has circulated over 4.4 million items, an 8.6% increase over last year and the library website has received 5.5 million visits, an 86% increase over last year.
“I continue to be proud of our library, its employees, the Board of Trustees, active Friends groups and our numerous volunteers. Together we have built a strong library system providing the community with an invaluable resource,” stated Audra Caplan.
The public hearing will be held at the Fallston High School auditorium on Thursday, June 25th starting at 6pm. Voting of the budget will follow the hearing. Fallston High School is located at 2301 Carrs Mill Road, Fallston. Doors will open at 5:00. Those who want to speak are asked to sign up.