Starting March 1, the library will also be changing its hours of operation. “One of the most significant changes is the reduction of our operating hours to compensate for the continued loss of revenue because of the property tax caps and the projected budget shortfall for 2014,” said Heidenreich.
That shortfall totals $71,000 and could mean even more if the property tax caps are approved again. Libraries, which are a government service, may face more shortfalls totalling an additional $20,000 locally.
“Libraries represent hope, equality and opportunity for everyone in a community,” Heidenreich said.
“They are an essential government service and must be full funded. Adequate funding should be a priority for our elected officials now and in the future.”
“With the revenue shortfall, the board was faced with reducing personnel hours which also resulted in a decrease in the operating hours,” Heidenreich said.
Currently the library is open 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday.
After March 1, the library will trim six hours of operation. New hours will be Monday and Tuesday noon to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
“Finding hope in the midst of budget shortfalls remains challenging,” she said. “We are re-prioritizing library services, collections, and staffing with a mind toward using limited resources wisely. The library is resilient and can weather difficult times.”
Heidenreich said she and members of the library board of trustees hope that the reduction in hours will only be temporary.
“We want to be clear that this library belongs to the taxpayers of the City of Washington and we will continue to offer the quality programming, materials, and technology that is in demand and expected,” said Heidenreich.
For more information on the library call 254-4586 or visit www.washingtonpubliclibrary.org.
New library hours beginning March 1 Monday - noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday - noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday - 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday - 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday - 10 a.m. to 5 p.m Saturday - 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.