Plan could save three library jobs

The City/County Library has tentatively saved three of the seven full-time positions it had feared it would have to eliminate.

By replacing three vacant positions with three less expensive slots, Director Brian Reynolds said he hopes to keep staff, save money and serve the public.

Last month, Reynolds announced that he would have to cut seven full-time staff positions that were spread out among 11 people.

But in a staff report that the Board of Supervisors is scheduled to discuss today, Reynolds has a new proposal.He suggests that the board eliminate one vacant full-time librarian position and two vacant full-time driver/clerk positions, which cost $171,024, and replace them with three administrative assistants at a cost of $162,690.

In addition to saving more than $8,300 in salaries and benefits, the move will reduce the number of random closures the libraries have sustained, he said.

Like other government agencies, the library has been hit hard by budget cuts, even as demand on the library system grows.

Reynolds has been relying increasingly on volunteers, although he insists he is using them only to fill an existing void, not to replace paid staff.

“There is a renewed emphasis on using volunteers in new ways,” Reynolds wrote to The Tribune in an e-mail last month.

“We use close to 600 volunteers in a given week, which equates to about 12 (full-time equivalent) positions,” Reynolds wrote.

“I’m certain that we can use volunteers more efficiently ... and this is what I’m committed to.”

The Board of Supervisors still must approve Reynolds’ proposal.