Libraries will close for a week in August to trim budget shortfall


Libraries in Bowling Green and Walbridge will be closed Aug. 9-15.
The bookmobile also will not operate that week.
Wood County District Public Library Trustees this morning directed the staff to pick a week to close in
August. The staff made its selection during a meeting that followed the board session. The closure will
reduce expenses an estimated $17,000 and help close a projected $65,000 deficit for the rest of 2009.

"We (the staff) talked about how everybody is in the same boat and that we still have jobs. We hate
to inconvenience the public but that’s where we are at this point," Library Director Elaine
Paulette said when she called to report the staff’s decision.
Finance Committee Chairperson Scott McEwen said the closure, along with fines and fees that average
$5,000 a month, and donations "will probably get us close to the $65,000 shortfall." McEwen
said he would not rule out the need for another furlough week later in the year, depending on the actual
money received from the state.
"I think we have seen the best of times," Paulette said. "This year has been difficult and
next year is going to be worse."
Paulette said the closure will be considered a furlough for employees. That will allow the library to
reduce employee paychecks one day a week for five weeks, rather than employees having to lose a full
check all at once.
She said the budget also does not account for "catastrophes" such as breakdowns in equipment or
unanticipated maintenance issues.
No new materials are being purchased from the budget. Some items are being purchased with donations
through the "Buy-A-Book" campaign started a few months ago.
One bright spot has been lower utility bills this year, about $5,500 through June. Paulette said lower
natural gas prices, less operating hours and "tweaked" thermostats account for the savings.

"We’re not the first library to have this conversation. We see the problem across the state,"
Paulette said.
"I’m not happy about any of this," said board Chairman Brian Paskvan. "We want to save as
many jobs as possible and not add angst to the State of Ohio."
He said the Finance Committee would start working on the 2010 budget and bring a plan to the board by
early fall.
Paulette said she won’t put a lot of faith in state budget figures provided for 2010, saying much depends
on the state economy and noting that projections have changed at least three times regarding 2009 state
At its Aug. 26 meeting the board will discuss the possibility of resuming Sunday hours, suspended for the
summer. Paulette said there will have to be a trade-off for the Sunday hours during the other six days
of the week. "I’ve heard a few comments about opening later during the week but a lot about being
closed on Sundays," she said.

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