February 21, 2018

Tacoma Public Pondering Monday Closure; Seattle To Furlough in August

By LJ Staff

The Tacoma Public Library is the latest library to contract dwindling budget
syndrome. The library’s board is pondering the possibility of closing the main
facility and six branches on Mondays as a result of losing $837,000 in its
two-year budget allocation of $20 million. The closures could save almost
$800,000. Though loathe to cut operating hours, Director Susan Odencrantz
indicated that keeping the current schedule might force the full closure of a
branches or branches in the future. “I call it the misery index,” she told the
local press. “Unless we begin to make cuts now, we’ll have to take them all in
one big gulp later.” The library faced the same cut last fiscal year, but drew
upon savings to make up the difference.

Tacoma’s neighbor, Seattle Public Library, will shut down its facilities and
furlough its staff the week of August 25 – 31 and again next spring, which the
library claims will save up to $1 million dollars and prevent layoffs. The
library initiated the furlough in 2002, which Director Deborah Jacobs told
LJ proved a major success.