Boston Library Trustees Delay Vote On Staff Cuts

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Boston Public Library's Board of Trustees decided Wednesday to hold off on proposed staff reductions so it can review the potential savings.

To address a $3.6 million budget shortfall, the trustees were slated to vote on staff cuts, but Chairman Jeffrey Rudman said the group wanted more information before agreeing to lay off up to 69 people.

"I feel the heartfelt concern that we are talking about putting 69 people out of work in a climate where there aren’t lots of jobs to be found," Rudman said. "I hear the agony, I think people in the room hear the agony. We are not going to vote today."

According to BPL President Amy Ryan, the proposed 69 lay-offs would save just over $2 million.

The trustees agreed to put the vote off until April 9. At that time, they will also vote on whether to close up to 10 library branches, or severely cut hours. Branches will be weighed based on size, location and access to public transportation, among other criteria.

Ryan did not diminish the impact of the looming cuts.

"It will affect customer service," she said. "Particular it will be obvious with the open hours. We will have to work on redefining how we use Copley library. It could also mean our maintenance isn’t up to the standard we prefer."

At a public comment session earlier in the month, attendees spoke critically of proposed cutback measures.

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This program aired on March 25, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.