Facing what leaders call an unprecedented fiscal crisis, the 23-branch system plans to reduce its staff by 20%, or 83 employees, at the end of March. Library officials also are weighing branch closures and fewer hours of operation.
While library visits increased 16% over the past three years in Detroit, funding dropped roughly 30%, creating a deficit that could exceed $10 million, according to library records. The library’s budget is $50 million. Most of that money comes from a 3-mill tax on Detroit residents.
“When the economy tanks, library usage goes up quite a bit,” library spokesman A.J. Funchess said. “We provide free services, everything from books and computers to DVDs. People come here to … search for jobs.”
"Detroit Public Library to Cut 83 Workers"
Filed by February 28, 2011on