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Published: Tuesday, 7/28/2009

3 Wood County library sites to close for week

BLADE STAFF

BOWLING GREEN - Wood County District Public Library will close three sites and furlough their employees for a week next month as it struggles to make up a budget shortfall.

The main library in Bowling Green, the branch in Walbridge, and the bookmobile will be out of commission Aug. 9-16. North Baltimore, Pemberville, Rossford, Way in Perrysburg, Wayne, and Weston will remain open.

"It isn't anything we ever thought we'd have to do," Elaine Paulette, library director, said. "We wanted to do it before school gets back in session."

"We know that people count on us all the time, but perhaps that time in August is when people are a little busy trying to get ready for back to school, and there's a little overlap with the Wood County Fair and some of those things that perhaps make it somewhat easy for people to get by."

In light of significant reductions in state funding, the library has reduced hours, increased fines, cut spending on technology and new materials, and reduced staff through attrition. Ms. Paul-

ette said it had 52 full and part-time employees two years ago but today has just 34 - 14 full time and 20 part time.

The weeklong closing is expected to save about $17,000 and ease a projected $65,000 shortfall in this year's budget. Ms. Paulette called the $65,000 figure "our best guess."

"The other big unknown is we've seen projections the state has given us, we've seen those numbers drop three times so we are concerned we are not on firm footing with those projections," she said.



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