UPDATE: We’ve updated this post with an embed (below) of the preliminary plan presented by the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Task force at a meeting today. You can watch a recording of the meeting by clicking here.
From the Miami Herald:
Without an increase in the county library tax next year, Miami-Dade would keep all of its 49 branches but move most from a five-day schedule to a four-day schedule, according to a presentation released Wednesday.
Other cost savings would come from sharp payroll reductions and using more part-time workers, limiting the number of books patrons can check out at one time, ending the books-sharing program with libraries outside Miami-Dade, and cutting back the hours on the Bookmobile. The library hopes to encourage self check-outs to save on labor costs, and use a “floating” collection system that would end the practice of each book having a specific library to call home.
“There’s going to be pain,’’ said Raymond Santiago, the county’s library director. “This isn’t a budget anybody is going to be jumping up and down over. But it’s a reality.”
Santiago’s contingency plan to cut $20 million from its $50 million budget would avoid the wave of closings county Mayor Carlos Gimenez initially floated last summer in the midst of a similar funding crisis. Burning through the library’s cash reserves let the library avoid that scenario in the current budget. But without a tax increase or drastic spending cuts, the same $20 million gap will be waiting for the library once the 2015 budget year begins Oct. 1.
Read the Complete Article
Also New Today: Library cuts are forcing tough decisions on children’s books in Miami-Dade (via MH)
“Spending on Children’s Books is Down 90% From Previous Years”
Article runs 1500 words.