Salinas Libraries Open with Fewer Employees, Hours

Article excerpt

After hearing testimony from Salinas (Calif.) Public Library employees and union officials who said the current staff is stretched too thinly, the city council voted 5-1 April 5 to authorize the city manager to reduce the hours of each of the three branches from 32 to 26 hours a week. The libraries have gone from 33.5 FTE staff to 23, due to retirements and resignations following the city's issuing pink slips to all its employees in January in preparation for an expected shutdown in the spring. However, the closures have been averted by a fundraising effort that aims to keep the branches open on a limited schedule through December (AL, Apr., p. 12).

Senior Library Technician Sylvia Garcia told councilors that remaining staff members have had to take on extra duties to fill service gaps, the Salinas Californian reported April 6. Assistant City Manager Jorge Rifa said the library lost two full-time children's librarians, which has resulted in the cancellation of such services as a weekly storytime program. …