The Muskingum County Library System is making budget cuts to deal with loss of more than 30 percent of their yearly revenue.
Four library employees will be laid off, while 12 others will see their hours cut. There will be no raises for employees this year and open positions at the libraries will not be filled.
Due to the staffing reduction the John McIntire Library will open an hour later each day, at 10 a.m., beginning August 24th. The five branch libraries will be closed on Saturdays beginning August 29th.
“Actually we were a bit surprised to find that Saturday is the least used day at the five branch libraries. So it is in response to customer use patterns, the services they use and the materials they value most, that’s how we based all decisions including that decision,” says Blair Tom, Muskingum County Library System public relations manager.
All six libraries will also be on furlough the week of August 16.
The Muskingum County Library System will look to the voters for relief from their financial problems. They are placing a one mill operating levy on the November ballot. Though the library has never had an operating levy in its history, they are hopeful voters will see its importance.
“We are an important part of the solution to the current economic challenges that we are facing. Business wise, especially employment wise and also with schools, so we are confident that people understand the need and value the services and hopeful they will be able to support us this November,” says Tom.
All of the moves are in response to a 20 percent reduction in revenue from the Public Library Fund due to the downturn of the economy and an additional 11 percent cut in funding in the new state budget.