(Parma) - The Cuyahoga County Public Library (CPPL) Board of Trustees has approved a cost-reduction plan to address a projected $5 million budget shortfall due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan, which is laid out in phases, includes the layoff and furlough more than 300 staff members.
The Library’s remaining employees (union and management) will work a significantly reduced schedule. As part of this reduction, the Library has applied for a layoff avoidance program called SharedWork Ohio, which would enable staff to continue to work at reduced hours and receive unemployment benefits based on state eligibility requirements.
In addition, the Library plans to eliminate or postpone several planned maintenance projects, reduce its materials budget and decrease other general expenditures. While its branches are closed, the Library will also achieve savings related to daily building expenses (cleaning, trash removal, etc.). In total, these cost-saving measures equal more than $5 million.
“Like everyone else, Cuyahoga County Public Library is experiencing the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We must make incredibly difficult decisions to reduce our operating costs, but these steps are essential to the long-term sustainability of our Library system,” said Tracy Strobel, Cuyahoga County Public Library executive director. “When we emerge from this phase of the pandemic response the Library needs to be here for the community to help job seekers, students seeking Internet access and residents who need accurate, reliable information.”
All CCPL branches have been closed since March 14. The Library has already transitioned many of its regular in-branch services to virtual service, including online reference, tech support and reading recommendations, along with checking out digital materials online.
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