Saturday, May 14, 2011

Detroit Public Library Does the Math....Incorrectly

Detroit Library admits plan to close branches based on flawed math. (Detroit News, 5/12/2011)

Excerpt: The Detroit Public Library is preparing to shutter as many as 10 branches and lay off one-third of its workers because of financial projections city officials say were a misunderstanding.

City finance staffers say they told library counterparts in March that 20 percent of the city's property taxes go uncollected.

Library staffers took that to mean property tax revenues would decline 20 percent a year until 2015 and prepared plans for branch closures, which were expected to be considered today but those talks were postponed.

"We want to make sure the numbers we put out there are the most accurate," library spokesman A.J. Funchess said this morning.

But Mayor Dave Bing's staff says the library's math is all wrong.


The mix-up could be the latest embarrassment for library officials who've been criticized in recent weeks for spending $2.3 million to revamp the Main Library's South Wing — including chairs and trash cans that cost $1,100 apiece — while readying layoffs and branch closures.

Related articles:
Residents speak up against branch closings.  (5/8/2011)
The library takes a page from the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates.  (5/7/2011)
The news just keeps getting worse. (5/6/2011)
The Detroit Public Library needs some good news (and this isn't it).  (5/5/2011)
Rainy day fund keeps fewer branches from closing.  (4/29/2011)
Proposal to close 18 of 23 Detroit branches sparks anger. (4/22/2011)
Few expenses spared in South Wing remodeling of library.  (4/22/2011)
Downward spiral.  (4/16/2011)
Library reduces staff by 20%. (3/4/2011)
Budget woes. (2/5/2011)

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