News

NOLS closes doors for week

All branches of the North Olympic Library System will close Monday, March 29, through Saturday, April 3.

The following will not be available:

_ Library's Web site www.nols.org

_ Distribution of materials

_ Community rooms

The libraries will reopen on Monday, April 5, at the regular times.

As reported in the Oct. 28, 2009, issue of the Sequim Gazette, NOLS union employees approved unpaid furlough leave during this time as a cost-saving measure.

This is the first of two closures. The second is set for Aug. 30-Sept. 4.

Each closure saves about $35,000 in salary and helps shrink the $163,000 budget shortfall this year. The NOLS board of trustees plans to balance the shortfall with more personnel reductions, buying fewer new books and other materials and by transferring approximately $88,000 from reserve funds.

Library staff attributes the budget gap to cumulative effects of inflation, the loss of timber revenue and Washington law, which caps the library's property tax budget at no more than a 1-percent increase per year without a vote of the people.

This November, the library board is considering a vote for a property tax levy rate increase from 33 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation to 50 cents per $1,000.

The closure dates were chosen to minimize the impact on 51 staff members by allowing them to spread a 3.8-percent pay cut over four paychecks in March, April, August and September.

For more information about the upcoming library closure, visit www.nols.org, or contact Paula Barnes, library executive director at 417-8525 or director@nols.org.

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