Garfield libraries cut hours again | PostIndependent.com
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Garfield libraries cut hours again

All Garfield County libraries will begin a new, reduced schedule on Tuesday, Sept. 5.

It is the second recent reduction in hours, with the first occurring in December after the Garfield County Library District learned of a $1.2 million decrease in operating revenue for 2017. This time around all libraries will be closed on Sundays.

The December change resulted in a 7 percent decrease in open hours while eight staff members were laid off. Since this cut last year, county libraries have faced continuing staff shortages that have led to temporary day-long emergency closures of several branches.

The libraries continue to face shrinking revenues, including continued county sales tax refunds to the state that have reduced funding by $2.1 million over the last six years and $66,305 in 2017 alone.

“Given the continued demand for library services in our communities, we do not have the resources to maintain our current schedule.”

— Jesse Henning,executive director, Garfield County libraries

To provide sustainable service despite these funding shortages, the Library board of trustees on Aug. 3 voted unanimously to reduce open hours. This newest adjustment in open hours is designed to alleviate the staff shortages that have caused 11 emergency closures in the last eight months.

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"Given the continued demand for library services in our communities, we do not have the resources to maintain our current schedule. We have managed to stay open due exclusively to the dedication and hard work of library staff, but we've reached the limit of what we can do sustainably," said Executive Director Jesse Henning. "This new schedule will allow your libraries to provide more consistent service without making any changes to staff."

This schedule change comes as a result of data collected over the past eight months, staff input and public survey comments. A team of staff looked at usage data from each library so the new schedule would best reflect the times the libraries are busiest. While Sunday hours at Rifle and Glenwood Springs were cut, the team preserved hours on Saturday as well as one late night at each location in order to continue to offer availability for members commuting to and from work. The new hours will be more consistent across the district, with the libraries opening at 11 a.m. most days.

NEW SCHEDULE

Carbondale and New Castle

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Wednesday: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Friday: Noon-5 p.m.

Saturday: 1-5 p.m.

Glenwood Springs and Rifle

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Wednesday: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Friday, Saturday: 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Silt and Parachute

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Thursday: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Friday: Noon-5 p.m.

Saturday: 1-5 p.m.