Budget Cuts Force Library Closures

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For the second time in recent memory, Seattle public libraries are closing for one week at the end of this month, leaving their online content–such as databases and e-books–accessible to library patrons, but sending their employees home without pay. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports:

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.

In our so-called information age, libraries are a typical target for political budget slashing. But, as the Post-Intelligencer notes, at least fines will not be assessed during the shutdown. So, personal budgets will only remain affected by the difficulty of finding a job.

(Thanks, The Consumerist.)

Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Image by Marxchivist, licensed under Creative Commons.

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