Camas library prepares for 10-day closure

Cost-saving measure will begin Saturday

For the second time this year, the Camas Public Library will implement an extended closure as part of a handful of 2011 budget reduction measures.

The library will be closed from Saturday, Dec. 24 to Monday, Jan. 2. It will reopen at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 3.

According to Library Director David Zavortink, as part of the budget reductions, Camas Public Library staff was asked to take four days of furlough — time off without pay — so the library could shut down during a time when it is lightly used, the last week of the year.

The lights will be off and heat turned down.

During this time, library pages will empty the Northeast Everett Street book return daily and process the returned items.

According to Zavortink, the timing of the closure was strategic based on typical library usage during this 10-day stretch.

“The number of people that come into the library during the holiday period is always much lower than average,” he said. “With Christmas and New Year’s falling on Sundays this year, Monday is a holiday for many workers. Three-day weekends always translate into reduced traffic at the library.”

Zavortink said reaction from the public about the upcoming closure has been mixed.

“Anytime there is a change in the schedule there is a bit of surprise,” he said. “We chose this time because it is usually a time of low use — thus impacting fewer library users. There have been a couple of times in the past when the worst weather of the winter was this time of year, and with the holidays falling as they do, we could make some real savings with the heat turned down.”

The savings from this closure, $9,000, are 16 percent of the $60,000 trimmed from the 2011 budget.

Earlier this year the library, located at 625 N.E. Fourth Ave., was closed for 15 consecutive Saturdays, from May 28 through Sept. 3.

Other reductions in 2011 included eliminating summer reading program staff hours; trimming funding for custodial services, building repairs and custodial services; and reducing the book budget.

Zavortink said no closures due to budget tightening are planned for 2012.

“To everyone’s relief, it will be a much more normal year.”

In 2010, the Camas library had approximately 270,000 visitors, a circulation of 322,454, and nearly 21,000 people attending its programs for children, teens and adults.

Library patrons with materials that are overdue, on hold, etc., can find answers to many questions on the “FAQ” entry on the library’s blog at: camas.typepad.com/library/.

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