Some Garfield County Library District staff will be laid off starting Tuesday, and hours at the six branch libraries will be reduced as of Wednesday as the result of a $1.2 million decrease in operating revenues for next year.
“All throughout the valley, organizations are going to see these types of cuts because they are seeing the same decrease in property taxes,” said Jesse Henning, the recently named executive director for the Garfield County Public Library District.
The drop is due to a 45 percent decrease in oil and gas activity in recent years, which is just now being reflected on the tax rolls. The resulting $1.2 million decrease in library revenues represents 30 percent of the district’s operating budget.
The district’s board of trustees announced the cuts in an open letter to library patrons Monday. In addition to the layoffs and reduced hours, the district is also cutting its library materials budget by 50 percent, meaning longer wait times for new books, electronic books, DVDs and other items.
“You may notice fewer public Internet-access computers at our branches as well,” the board advised in its letter, as the district looks to reduce its IT costs.
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