Saturday, April 9, 2011

Reduced Hours, Frozen Positions @ Belvidere's Ida Public Library

Belvidere’s Ida Public Library cuts hours, freezes vacancies. (Rockford Register-Star, 4/7/2011)

Excerpt:  Ida Public Library officials announced the library will operate under reduced hours effective May 1 in response to budget constraints.

The Library Board’s approved a balanced $816,000 operating budget for FY 2011-12, which includes paying a $70,000 share of its employee benefits, for the first time. Historically, the city of Belvidere picks up the tab, however due to a challenging financial situation, the city opted to discontinue that practice for its FY 2012.

“It’s IMRF (Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund), Social Security and Medicare that they’re paying that they didn’t pay in the past,” said City Finance manager Pat Chamberlin.

Ida Public Library Director Debbie Bloom said cutting hours is one of several methods being used to keep the library in the black financially.

The changes in hours will mean the library will be open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., rather than from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and will be open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., rather than from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The move will save on personnel costs for Ida’s 21 employees.

Also, the library won’t fill a full-time assistant library director position or hire for three part-time summer jobs for a summer reading program. Those positions are frozen

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