On March 30, 2011, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn directed all city departments to identify 3 percent cuts to their current budgets, a pre-emptive savings measure to address approximately $17 million in anticipated reduced state and federal funds. Although departments planned for 3 percent in cuts, the mayor was given discretion to decide how much to cut from each department.
The Mayor’s Office announced today that The Seattle Public Library will need to cut $150,000 from its current 2011 budget to address mid-year city revenue shortfalls (a 3% cut to the Library budget would have been approximately $1.43 million).
This cut preserves current Library operating hours, but reduces the budget for books and materials to $5.05 million: nearly $2 million below what the Library’s funding level was four years ago. The Library has taken five significant cuts since 2009, restructuring and reducing public service hours and management positions, reducing the collections budget, instituting materials loan changes, and restructuring and reducing support services, including human resources, financial services, information technology, and communications. The Library has also implemented pay cuts through furloughs and COLA reductions. The 2011 Library furlough – the third annual such cost-cutting measure – will take place the week of August 29-September 5.
The Library will learn of proposed cuts for 2012 later in September, when the Mayor submits the city budget to the City Council.
There are two ways you can support the Library this weekend: