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Fairfax libraries set to lay off 107 employees

The Fairfax County Public Library is set to lay off 107 full- and part-time employees to help close a $4 million budget gap next year, officials told library staffers Wednesday.

The affected departments within the library system would include library administration and operations and technical operations. Under the proposal approved by the library's governing board at its meeting Tuesday night, library hours would also be scaled back on Fridays.

Library employees argue that in the economic downturn, libraries have become a haven for the homeless and jobless and that county officials, in their attempts to not close branches for one day during the week or shutter entire facilities, have sought deep personnel cuts instead.

"The largest reduction is in our branches," said Nancy Klein, president of the library employees' association. "Granted, that's where the largest pool of workers comes from but that's also the majority of our public services is done. That's our front-line staff."

But library officials say closing entire branches would leave some communities at a disadvantage and force staffers to work on weekends and late into the evenings.

The entire library layoff proposal, which will be forwarded to Fairfax County Executive Anthony H. Griffin, can be found below.

Fairfax County Public Libraries 15 percent cut proporsal

By Derek Kravitz  |  November 18, 2009; 5:27 PM ET
Categories:  Fairfax County Board of Supervisors  
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If you ever remember using the library as a child, for a science fair project when you were in elementary school, homework in high school, for research in college, or continued the cycle by checking out books to read to your children - then you are someone that NEEDED the county library in your life.

The libraries have been cut enough in past years and their budget needs to be restored not cut additionally next year.

Posted by: JuKo | November 19, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

People who care about this issue need to speak out to their Supervisor or the Board. There is a place to comment at the county website.

Posted by: SGalahad | November 19, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

The library system already laid off 300 staffers in the last round of budget cuts. Library usage has soared with the down economy. Why is the county cutting the safety net used by so many county residents?

Posted by: hopeful10 | November 19, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

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