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Leonia Public Library Announces Changes Amid Cutbacks

The Leonia Public Library is cutting hours and services due to a decreased budget.
The Leonia Public Library is cutting hours and services due to a decreased budget. Photo Credit: Aliza Chasan

LEONIA, N.J. — The Leonia Public Library Board of Trustees said it needs to make several operational changes due to a $103,000 cut in its budget.

Working closely with Library Director Matthew Latham, the board said it has tried to minimize the impact on services. The changes include:

  • As of July 1, the library will close evenings at 8 p.m. rather than 9 p.m.
  • The library will be closed Saturdays in July as well as, in the past, August.
  • As of Sept. 3, Saturday hours will be 10 a.m to 2 p.m. The library will remain closed Sundays.
  • The Local History Room will not have public hours as of July 1. Requests for access will be by appointment.
  • There only will be one public service point for public assistance on the library's main (upper) level as of July 1.
  • Library events and programs also will see reductions.

These new policies result from the necessity to eliminate staff, since labor costs represent the highest portion of a budget and the library cannot operate as before without staff to do so, the trustees said. The library will lose one full-time staff member (reducing full-time staff from six to five). our part-time archivist and more than 60 percent of part-time worker hours. the trustees said.. The library is using non-municipal money to supplement operating expenses wherever possible, but these funds can't be used for salaries. the trustees said.

Given new funding levels, the board believes  these changes reflect the best possible adaptation. the trustees said.

The library board and staff will work to provide the highest level of service possible to the community, and we will work to continue to offer innovative and diverse services, the trustees said.

Please feel free to address questions to the board in care of latham@leonia.bccls.org.

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