Budget Constraints Force NC Library Sunday Closure, Program Cuts
Budget constraints and the resulting understaffing at the Natrona County Library System is prompting the closure of the Main Library on Sundays year-round, library officials announced Wednesday. The Library is currently closed Sundays for summer hours, but will not reopen Sundays in the fall as it has in the past.
"We have been at a disadvantage lately because we are understaffed," said Natrona County Library Executive Director Lisa Scroggins. "We are doing everything we can to limit the impact on patrons. In addition to closing on Sundays, that meant finding ways to do things more efficiently and eliminating duplicated services."
That same staff shortage also caused administration to evaluate programs and services "in order to best utilize tax dollars". Because StoryTime: TinyTots for babies and toddlers is offered at the Main Library, that program will no longer be duplicated at the Mills Branch.
Nathan McGregor, the library's Marketing and Public Relations Manager, says they also eliminated the Family Lego Night and Family Night programs as part of the reductions. The last Family Night will be held next Tuesday, August 28th.
Scroggins said the decision to end some programs and reduce hours was not an easy one. "We help patrons every day conduct job searches, access health information and educational resources, and more. We provide early literacy opportunities, enrich education through STEAM programming, and provide safe, engaging places for children and teens after school. We are pleased to be able to offer StoryTimes, computer classes, and other programs for children, youth, and adults."
Officials say beginning Tuesday, September 4, the Natrona County Library will be open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and will be closed on Sundays.