Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Detroit Public Library Needs Some Good News (and This Isn't It)

New Main Library fiasco: $7,000 for business cards for all employees. (Detroit News, 5/5/2011)

Excerpt: A purchase order from March 2010 showing the cash-strapped Detroit Public Library spent more than $6,500 to buy business cards for all its employees — including clerks and janitors who questioned why they need them.

Library spokesman A.J. Funchess said each employee got 250 cards "to be an ambassador to their communities.

"It shows everyone matters here at the library," Funchess said. "Everyone is representing the library."

"As employees, we are all a part of the same system."

Many of the cards quickly became obsolete. One year later, the library has lost 71 staffers to layoffs and retirements. Dozens more of the remaining 376 staffers could soon be laid off as the system is grappling with an $11 million shortfall and could close at least 10 of its 23 neighborhood branches

Related articles:
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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