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Library cuts staff and hours to handle budget reductionby Gisela Meier,
Yorba Linda Star June 17 1978 page 1
“We had hoped it wouldn't happen, but it has happened,” said Katherine Citizen, head librarian at the Yorba Linda District Library.
Since Prop. 13 has passed, Citizen is faced with a budget of $289.000, as compared to last year's budget of $493,000.
As a result, the library's board of directors last week decided to cut both the library staff and hours.
“We have lost six full-time positions and three part-time positions or 280 staff hours,” Citizen said. “We will maintain a staff of 10 full-time and 16 part-time employees.”
The library's hours of operation will be reduced from 66 to 45, she continued. Beginning on June 26, the facility will be open on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Wednesdays and Thursdays from noon to 9 p.m. The library will be closed on Sundays and Mondays.
“We chose the hours and days of operation that were recommended by patrons in a survey we conducted,” Citizen explained.
Although many libraries are phasing out their children's programs, Citizen said, the Yorba Linda library will maintain its summer reading program.
“The materials have already been ordered and received and there's no use in them gathering dust on the shelves,” Citizen said. “Besides, that would almost be a punitive thing for the children and I couldn't go along with that.”
The professional librarian of the young adult section has been laid off, and that department will be combined with the adult section, she continued. The audio visual department will remain open, although no new films will be ordered.
There probably won't be any orders for new books either, since the book budget has been cut from $60,000 to $10,000.
“That will only take care of newspapers, periodicals, standing orders and possibly some new books,” Citizen explained.
The library may attempt further savings by taking out a phone line, and Citizen hopes that utility bills will be reduced through the cut in hours.
If the reduced staff cannot handle the work load, she added, volunteer services may be used. Several residents have already offered their time, she said.
As yet, no alternative funding methods have been found by the board of directors. According to Citizen, the Education Code states specifically that public libraries must be free, so fees for the use of books have been ruled out.
Fund-raising events by the Friends of the Library, such as the recent book sale, may raise several hundred dollars, she said, but do not compensate for the loss of $200,000.
Since Citizen estimated that $135,000 would be available to the library if Prop. 13 passed, she included last year's reserve funds in this year's “Jarvis budget.”
“This means we wiped out our reserve,” she said. “I'm afraid to think of what will happen next year when we have no reserve. Hopefully the legislature will have come up with a solution that we can work with and still maintain a library.”
Meanwhile, Citizen said, the staff hopes to do the best job for the residents of Yorba Linda at the highest level of service possible.
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