Saturday, May 21, 2011

Detroit Public Library U-Turn: No Branch Closures, No Layoffs

I'd like to dedicate this song to Jonathan Kinloch. (Keep reading.)

Library board: All branches will stay open, no layoffs. (Detroit News, 5/21/2011)

Excerpt: Residents of the east side's Osborn neighborhood were ready to rally next week to keep their Franklin Branch Library alive.

Now they are planning a celebration.

The Detroit Public Library Board of Commissioners decided Friday not to close any branches or lay off any more staff, one month after administrators recommended the closures of up to 18 of 23 branches and layoffs of 191 of 376 workers.

Franklin users are so ecstatic they plan on still gathering at 3 p.m. Wednesday at the library to celebrate, said Wayne Ramocan, the rally's organizer.

"It's a hub," said Ramocan, program coordinator for the non-profit Osborn Neighborhood Alliance. "It's not just about books. It's a community center. We still need to show our support."

Branch closure plans have dramatically changed since last month, and Friday they were discarded altogether after administrators withdrew their latest plan to close six branches.

No further action is needed. But several commissioners grilled administrators over how, just a month ago, officials thought the budget was so bleak.

"What in the hell happened," asked Jonathan C. Kinloch, the commission's vice president and an occasional contributor to a blog on

"How could this happen when we've been looking at these numbers since the beginning of the year? This makes us look like a bunch of clowns.

Related articles:
The next thing you know..... (5/20/2011)
My boss has a 2010 Buick LaCrosse....   (5/19/2011)
Detroit Public Library revised its math.  (5/17/2011)
Detroit Public Library does the math....incorrectly.  (5/14/2011)
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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