May 19, 2022

Michigan: Public Reaction to Possible Job Cuts at Grand Rapids Public Library


As leaders of the city library prepare for a budget vote later this month, some readers are responding to proposed job cuts by suggesting pay cuts for non-union administrators.

Read the Comments by MLive Readers

See Also: The Reactions Come After an MLive Article from Feb. 29, 2012: “Grand Rapids Library Budget Plan Cuts 14 Workers, maintains branch hours”

From the Article:

The public library will trim 14 workers, including the full-time manager of the system’s virtual “Web branch,” to close a budget gap caused largely by falling property tax receipts.

A 2012-2013 Grand Rapids Public Library budget up for approval in March proposes $494,199 in spending cuts that will eliminate 13 part-time clerical aides and book-shelvers, and the Web branch manager. Also, two other part-time jobs that were cut in January will remain unfilled.


Library leaders plan to replace the bulk of personnel cuts – 10 positions – with a new radio frequency identification, or RFID, checkout system. With the new technology, the circulation desk at the main library will have one person instead of three, for example.

The RFID system is expected to cut library costs by $159,000 per year. Meanwhile, library revenue has fallen from $9.5 million in 2010 to a projected $8.4 million for the 2013 fiscal year.


Without a full-time staff person dedicated to, the Web site will become more static with fewer updates, said Marcia Warner, library director.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.