Posted by: bluesyemre | January 8, 2013

Vermont Library Lays Off Whole Staff; Librarians Protest

  • On December 3rd, 2012, the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum Board of Trustees announced it would lay off its entire library, docent, and information technology staff, then “ask them to consider applying for the newly formed Athenaeum positions,” Bill Marshall, chair of the Athenaeum Board of Trustees, said in a letter. The first goal of the radical restructuring is to reduce costs: the library is eating into its endowment. It could be depleted in as little as seven years if spending continues at the current rate, which the Athenaeum’s Executive Director, Matthew Powers, said was between 10 and 20 percent per year, rather than the recommended 4.5 percent. The plan will cut personnel spending by eight percent, or about $40,000. Powers told LJ that personnel is the “single highest line” in the library-cum-museum’s budget. “Last year personnel costs were roughly $340,000 out of a total budget roughly of $500,000, and that doesn’t take into account the deficit,” he explained.

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