Friday, August 26, 2011

All Seattle Public Library Branches Closed Next Week Due To Budget Cuts

The Seattle Public Library, including the NE Library Branch (6801 35th Avenue NE), will be closed starting on Monday through Sunday, September 4th due to citywide budget cuts. All libraries will be closed for the Labor Day holiday Monday, September 5th.  All libraries will re-open for regular operations on Tuesday, September. 6th.

The information says:
All city departments are implementing cuts to address a $67 million gap in the 2011 city budget. The Library is funded from the city general fund.The week-long closure will help the Library achieve its $3.7 million budget reduction target for 2011. The closure will save approximately $650,000. The closure will mean salary reductions for nearly 640 employees who will not be paid during that week and who are taking cuts in their cost of living adjustments.

In addition, the book budget has been reduced, positions have been eliminated and 2010 cuts to branch hours have continued this year. Fifteen branches are only open 35 hours a week. 

August. 29th through September 4th was the week selected for the closure because general Library use at that time is not as high as other times during the year, school is not in session and there are fewer Library programs scheduled.
Library Interim Chief Executive Officer Lin Schnell said she understands how difficult the closure will be for patrons who depend on and need Library services, particularly during this prolonged recession.“Unfortunately the Library has limited options when dealing with cuts of this magnitude. Without the closure, we would have had to cut more operating hours or further reduce the book budget, she said.” 

Schnell explained the majority of the Library’s $50 million budget pays for direct public service – Library personnel to run the libraries. The remainder of the budget pays for books and materials, and fixed costs, such as telecommunication and Internet services and utilities.

Some services that will be unavailable: (Here is a complete list.)
  • No materials will be due and no fines will be charged.
  • No book drops will be open. 
  • Limited access to the online catalog. Patrons will be able to search the catalog and check their Library record but will not be able to place holds on items. No staff will be working to process the thousands of books and materials that customers normally put on hold. 
  • Limited access to the website ( The online calendar, databases, downloadable books and media, digital special collections, podcasts, SPL Mobile app and blogs will be available, but other online information and features will not be available. No staff members will be working to maintain the site or troubleshoot problems. 
  • Patrons will not be able to reserve a computer for the week the Library system is closed.
  • No access to Wi-Fi. 
  • No programsor events in Library meeting rooms.
  • No parking in Library garages.

For more information go here.

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