Monday, April 05, 2010

Unions Will Figure in Boston Public Library Plans to CLose Branches

Days before the Boston Public Library’s board of trustees is expected to vote on whether to close branches or pare back hours, the head of the library system spoke with a group of community reporters at the main branch in Copley Square.

The library system is facing a $3.6 million budget gap, according to BPL President Amy Ryan.

Q: It seems like the main focus is on closing libraries. I’m trying to get percentages: 60, 40 you’re weighing closing libraries?

A: We’re looking carefully at the reducing of the hours. That is one of the options that the board asked us to fill out. So we are looking at if we keep the seven largest libraries open, where it’s busy, where they have the computers and the programs, what it would mean to the remaining libraries. And that would mean and we’re laying out the numbers now, a reduction of 50 to 85 percent in open hours. That could mean that libraries are open from one, two or three days. That is also dependent on union bargaining too, because of the location of the workplace. That means the staff might have to work up to three places per week. So that option is still before the trustees.

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