Magazine article American Libraries

Anchorage Eliminates 22 Library Jobs

Magazine article American Libraries

Anchorage Eliminates 22 Library Jobs

Article excerpt

Due to what Anchorage, Alaska, Mayor Mark Begich says is unprecedented financial pressure predicated by a more than $30 million budget shortfall, the city's library system announced October 1 the elimination of 22 jobs, or about 20% of the library workforce. An additional eight unfilled positions will also get the axe for a total savings of $1.25 million out of the library's $6.5-million FY 2004 budget.

Municipal Librarian Art Weeks said in "a message to the Alaska library community," posted October 1 to the Alaska Library Association's electronic discussion list, that "the library was not singled out for special treatment. We are facing reductions that have been fairly applied throughout the municipal departments."

Weeks said the decision to cut staff was based on "an evaluation of our staffing levels against peer libraries in North America." He noted that with 103 full-time-equivalent employees the library is open 236 hours per week, while staffs of comparable size typically stay open 500 hours per week. …

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