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Board votes to cut library materials budget, add hours

SUWANEE -- The Gwinnett County Public Library board voted Monday to both slash its materials budget and add hours to its branches.

As it attempts to counteract a $1 million deduction in county funding, the board of trustees voted for a $500,000 decrease in its materials budget for the remainder of this fiscal year. The move marks a significant cut --the library's overall materials budget is typically around $3 million a year, though many factors play into the exact tally.

Monday's meeting went long and board members were not available to comment prior to press time. But some board members have previously called the cuts "harsh" and "severe."

Later in the same meeting -- during which Dick Goodman was elected 2013's board chair -- the group also approved a recommendation to add hours to its branches. Effective in early March, branch closings at 3 p.m. (which are sporadic and different for each branch) will be bumped back to 6 p.m. closing times.

The move will essentially add six hours of library time to each branch each week.

"I appreciate this, I like the consistency," board member Babs Wagoner said. "I think that will be so much easier for the community."

GCPL Executive Director Nancy Stanberry-Kellam said the extra employee hours were already factored into the budget.

The board also voted Monday to continue a pay freeze for library staff, to include "no pay for performance, no cost of living adjustment and no longevity pay" increases.

Goodman, also a Suwanee city councilman, has been on the library board since April 2011. With vice chair Betty Atkinson absent Monday, Goodman was a 4-0 unanimous choice for the board's next chairman.

Former chair Philip Saxton's term on the board expired with the new year.

Lawrenceville resident Deborah Oscarson was appointed to the board by District 3 Commissioner Tommy Hunter and took part in her first meeting Monday.

Comments

shorty 1 year, 3 months ago

Lets take a million out of budget than work more hours,with less people and you don't get a RAISE.This county has no common sense GET SOME.

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JustAnotherCitizen 1 year, 3 months ago

The director's response to a million dollar budget cut is to raise hours? Brilliant.

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skibop03 1 year, 3 months ago

Get a contract with Apple, allow one Discount Ipad per household. Close all the libraries and reduce my taxes.

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SuxBeanU 1 year, 3 months ago

LETS FIX THE LIBRARIES PROBLEMS BY TAKING AWAY the money that goes to the chamber, also close or sell collins hill golf club, and let the braves service the debt on the bannister memorial stadium.there is money to support the library system, just stop the stupid spending.I would much rather have a first class library system than pay for some minor league basball stadium. If The quality of the library system is a direct reflection on the comunity it serves, we aren't looking too goodl.come on, find the money and fund the GCLS.ARE THERE TOO MANY LIBRARY BUILDINGS? YES, BUT THAT'S THE FAULT OF COMMISSIONERS THAT WANTED ONE ON EVERY CORNER IN THEIR DISTRICT. HOW IS THAT AGAIN? CUT THE BUDGET INCREASE THE HOURS AND DON'T EVEN CONSIDER A PAY INCREASE. YEAH, THAT'S A GOOD PLAN. CERTAINLY THE BEST WAY TO ATTRACT COMMITTED EMPLOYEES, NOT.

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kevin 1 year, 3 months ago

There should be a movement to rename ALL public buildings that are named after a public official, especially those that have been convicted and/or resigned to avoid conviction.

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kevin 1 year, 3 months ago

not a good tradeoff. More time to look over less books on the shelves.

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