Rockland library asks for public support to keep position
Rockland — The Rockland Public Library and its director, Amy Levine, are asking for public support through the library website to keep their full-time reference librarian position intact.
The library's budget is set for City Council discussion during the Wednesday, June 4 budget meeting at Rockland City Hall, and Levine hopes the public will attend.
The city budget proposed by interim City Manager Thomas Luttrell would not fill the reference librarian and assistant to the city manager positions to keep a zero-balanced budget with no property tax increases. The city is facing a non-property tax loss in revenue of $135,280 for the upcoming 2014-2015 budget year, according to Luttrell's budget memo.
In a public message on the library website, Levine writes about the impact of what will reduce the library's full-time staff from seven to five employees.
"The loss of a second [full-time] position in two years will most definitely impact library services to those who use this wonderful community asset," Levine wrote.
Reached for comment Tuesday, Levine said the reference librarian is a "very hands-on position that involves work with library patrons and computers." This past February, the position became vacant when the reference librarian resigned. Part-time employees including one who works just over 25 hours per week have helped, but that extra help is set to expire when the current budget year ends June 30, she said.
During the last budget cycle involving a "city-wide reorganization," a full-time library technician/adult programming position was eliminated, Levine said. That individual handled some reference and circulation work as well as some publicity for the library.
"A healthy library is vital to a healthy community," Levine said, adding that public support can make a difference for the library.
The City Council's budget meetings are held each Monday and Wednesday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Rockland City Hall.
Courier Publications reporter Larry Di Giovanni can be reached at 594-4401 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
207 594-4401 ext. 117
Larry Di Giovanni, a veteran journalist with more than 20 years of experience, is returning to his daily reporting roots in order to cover the city of Rockland for The Courier-Gazette. Originally from Athens, Ohio, his family includes one son, Tony.
Di Giovanni has covered news beats ranging from the city of South Lake Tahoe, Calif., to the largest tribal government in the United States — the Navajo Nation. He has also worked as a writer in the public education and higher education fields. He's an animal enthusiast and loves dogs.
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