August 26, 2010
Time for Librarians to Make Noise: Public Library System Closures Due to Budget Cuts
Seattle PI is reporting that the Seattle Public Library System will be shutdown Monday, Aug. 30 through Sunday, Sept. 5 due to citywide budget cuts in the city's effort to deal with a $67-million budget shortfall. The library system will reopen after the Labor Day holiday on Tuesday, Sept. 7
The system wide closure, expected to save about $650,000, is one of a number of measures the Library is implementing to achieve $3 million in cuts for 2010. A week-long closure last year saved a similar amount of cost.
The closure will mean salary reductions for nearly 650 employees who will not be paid during that week. The remaining savings is being met through reductions in branch hours, management and administration, the budget for books and materials, staff computers and staff training.
According to the report the library system's shutdown was timed when library use is typically lower than at other times in the year. The library's website lists what will and will not be available during the closure. Downloadable media including including 42,000 e-books and audiobooks, 3,000 downloadable music titles and 5,000 downloadable movie titles will be available. Access to 70 premium databases also. Patrons can search the library catalog online and check their library record but won't be able to place holds on items. Access to library computers will not be available because patrons will be locked out of the library. Book drops also will not be open. At least no borrowed materials will be due and no fines will be accrued. For more, see the Resource Shelf's Fast Facts: Seattle Public Library Mobile App (Cost to Produce & No. of Downloads) & For a Second Year, SPL Will Close For a Week.
See also Jodi Lampert's LA's Librarians Demand Noise to protest the closure of Los Angeles public libraries on Mondays. Image below. [JH]