County libraries to shut doors for 7 additional days Tight budget forces pay cut for librarians

October 23, 1991|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Baltimore County Bureau of The Sun

Facing a $600,000 deficit, the Baltimore County libraries will close seven more days this year, its librarians will take a pay cut and patrons will no longer be mailed notices for overdue books.

Charles Robinson, library director, said the Board of Library Trustees approved the measures Monday to make up a shortfall caused by state and county budget cuts.

Closing the 15 full-service libraries and 24 smaller outlets on more holidays will mean a 3.8 percent pay cut for the system's 350 full-time employees because they will be paid for 10 fewer work days this year, Mr. Robinson said.

The libraries will be closed seven days when they had been open, and the board voted not to pay librarians for three previously paid holidays, he said. Mr. Robinson said the pay cuts will save the county $500,000.

Eliminating overdue notices will save another $20,000.

Dropping overdue notices may mean it will take longer for some books to be returned, Mr. Robinson said, but most people return materials on time anyway.

He said he hopes to make up the $80,000 remaining by trimming operating expenses "wherever we can."

The library also has agreed to delay the $1 million addition to the Loch Raven branch library, saving money in the county capital budget, he said.

Mr. Robinson said the measures were approved after subcommittees of librarians and supervisory staff recommended them rather than cutting out materials and supplies for patrons.

"The recommendations from the staff were that they did not want to cut the budget for books," he said.

The library board agreed last spring to close 12 of its 15 full-service libraries on Sundays.

The closings, which took effect in September, meant fewer hours and less pay for the system's 350 part-time workers.

Alene Crenson, a librarian at the Catonsville branch, said yesterday that much of the staff was just relieved to still be working in the face of state and county cuts.


The additional days the libraries will be closed are: Nov. 11, Veterans Day; Nov. 29, the day after Thanksgiving; Dec. 23, the day before Christmas Eve; Dec. 30, the day before New Year's Eve; Dec. 31, New Year's Eve; Dec. 31, New Year's Eve; March 25, Maryland Day; and June 1, the day after Memorial Day.

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