PTC library may close one day a week

Fri, 04/03/2009 - 3:27pm
By: John Munford

Would allow weeknight hours to be extended, other changes

Peachtree City’s library may end up closing one full day a week so its schedule can be adjusted to better meet patrons’ needs.

One of the biggest issues in the recently shortened library schedule has been the closing at 8 p.m. instead of 9, which affects students who come to the library to work on school projects, Library Manager Jill Prouty said.

After a brief discussion with Prouty Thursday night, the City Council said it was open to other proposals to change operating hours including the possibility of closing one day a week. Doing so would make it less confusing for patrons, many of whom have become upset when they go to the library Wednesday mornings only to learn it doesn’t open until noon under the recent changes.

It’s not likely that Sunday will be the day the library closes, because that is one of the library’s busiest days, officials said.

The operating hours change was made due to city budget cuts, which also have affected the library’s part-time personnel. The library currently has two openings for part-time library assistants and a full-time opening for a reference supervisor.

Despite the city’s hiring freeze, those positions will be filled because they are necessary to the library’s operations, City Manager Bernie McMullen said. The library is also projecting savings from some pending retirements of senior staffers who will be replaced with lower-salaried employees, McMullen added.

With the summer reading program quickly approaching, Prouty is also asking the city for an additional 20 hours to spread out among current employees to cover that popular recurring event.

The cuts have affected the library staff’s ability to hold special programs such as family night, computer classes and also has had an affect on administrative operations, Prouty said. For example, staff is probably several months behind on ordering books, but that’s a byproduct of how busy the staff is in just serving patrons, she said.

Library volunteers, meanwhile, are helping out and worked 146 hours in February, Prouty said.

Despite the cuts, the library is busier than last year, as the number of transactions per hour is up 35 percent, Prouty reported.

Mayor Harold Logsdon said he hoped the cuts in operating hours will not be permanent.

City staff will develop a recommendation and bring it back to the City Council for approval at a later date.

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DarkMadam's picture
Submitted by DarkMadam on Mon, 04/06/2009 - 11:42am.

The pay raise of 100% that the Council and mayor are to get on 01/01/10 should be enough to keep the library open. And it is a BETTER use of tax payer dollars. Take a poll of the library users and see what their opinion is. Less library hours or doubling the pay of the very officials that want to close the library more hours! Just an idea....

Robert W. Morgan's picture
Submitted by Robert W. Morgan on Mon, 04/06/2009 - 6:11am.

146 volunteer hours is less than 1 full-time person. Heres how you keep the library open - which is the only reason it is there:
1. Make a big push to get volunteers. Goal should be 500 hors per month. 10 or 12 people should do it.
2. Charge for internet access. Take a lesson from the hotel industry. This is something that actually competed with the books in a library but everybody just acts like it is their birthright to have internet access in the library and the library management blindly goes along with it by buying computers and designing areas for their use. All of this costs money - get some back from the freeloaders who don't have even dial-up service at home. $1 a minute should get the job done.
3. Then, best of all - get more volunteers by allowing those with internet bills and library fines to work off that debt at $1 per hour by volunteering.

Simple, easy - real solutions for real problems.

Submitted by ptcmom678 on Mon, 04/06/2009 - 5:41am.

My own family's usage of the library has doubled if not tripled. I hear from so many people that their library usage has also dramatically increased as their income won't stretch to buying as many books as they used to, or that cable and movie rentals have had to be cut. I predict that the summer reading program will have a huge enrollment. I really hope that any library cuts in service and/or money are really well-considered. The entire Fayette Library system is wonderful. The Peachtree City Children's Librarians have been especially helpful in finding new series for my daughter that work with both her interests and her AR level.

Please don't cut the hours - they are very, very much needed now, and for the summer months.

Submitted by windowpane on Sun, 04/05/2009 - 12:12am.

Now if the upper mgt types, mayor, council and say vendors like the city attorney and judge... took a 10% cut? A little 10% cut & be happy like the rest of us, just to have a job. What would that net?

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