Columbus Library proposes cutting hours, not jobs -, GA News Weather & Sports

Columbus library proposes cutting hours, not jobs

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By Roslyn Giles

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM)- Katrina Harris chooses any day of the week to take her children to the Columbus Public Library on Macon road. 

If a new proposal is approved, the decision may become difficult.  "That's not fair to the children and parents who want to give their children a better education. We bring our children to get homework done, projects, us the computer or read books," said Harris.

Chattahoochee Valley Library System Director Claudya Muller is recommending all 4 libraries in the city close one day a week, but on different days.  Muller added the cutbacks are necessary. "For the past two years, since the economy went sour, we have been having reductions in funding," explained Muller.

The state and privately funded cuts have prevented the library system from replacing 20 positions vacated by retirees.  As a result, customers are facing longer lines and wait times.  On the other hand, employees are not working as efficiently.  "We're just not able to do a quality job. It takes too long to get the books on the shelf, to do displays and all of the things that go into providing a really good library service."

A study group from the University of Phoenix told News Leader 9 the proposed changes would create a hassle for them.  The college students randomly select a day every week to meet at the library. But Muller emphasizes the need for quality and fewer hours.

Payroll for library staff will not be affected. The employees will rotate to other facilities when their assigned library is closed.  The proposal would also replace the need to cut jobs by 16 percent.  Currently, the CVLS employs105 public service workers, according to Muller.

The board is expected to make a decision Thursday.  If approved, the change will take effect in August. The move will not impact libraries in the outlining areas such as, Buena Vista, Richland and Cusseta. Muller added those public service entities are already open only 32 hours a week, the state required minimum.  

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