Local News

Library Updates

The Fullerton Public Library made progress on a few key items at its last monthly meeting on April 28.

First, the Library is proceeding with plans to rehire the staff needed to restore library hours to pre-pandemic levels. Whereas the library once opened its doors to the public 62 hours each week, that number is now at 36 hours. Staffing reductions at the library that have led to this reduced service were obligated as part of the City’s pandemic-era staffing cut, which required many vacated positions to remain unfilled. Before the pandemic, the library staff included 23.8 full-time positions.

Currently the Library has six vacant positions, and even under the proposed budget for 2022-2023 it will only have 20.8 full-time positions. It is currently in the hiring process for a Children’s Division Manager and an Adult Division Manager. Once hired, these managers will participate in the Library’s search for a Technical Assistant in the Children’s Department, another Technical Assistant whose primary responsibility is bill paying, and a third Technical Assistant. All these positions are currently vacant.

Library Trustee Sean Paden pushed for specifics on when the Library will be able to open for 50 or more hours a week, but Director Judy Booth responded with a more general explanation of how current staffing levels prevent the library from meeting all its obligations to the community.

Despite reduced staff, the Library continues to reach out to the community. For instance, in honor of May 4th (“May the 4th Be With You”), the Library has released a new Grogu (a.k.a. Baby Yoda) themed card, which it announced through a four-minute  video featuring costumed performers, theme music, and levitation. Online readers of The Observer can find the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcbLyWWkGg4

The library is suggesting a $2 donation for anyone who comes in to switch to the new card.

As previously reported in The Observer [Mid-April] the Library is also moving forward with plans to fence in the forthcoming Hunt Branch Library property when it reopens. The Board reported that the City’s Parks and Recreation Department has agreed in principle to the fence and is weighing options for the design. The hope is that this will provide increased security as programs like the recent Día de Los Niños come to the Hunt, ideally as soon as 2023.

The Board also voted unanimously to approve the City’s 5.25% pay raise to Director Judy Booth, with one member calling it long overdue.

Another order of business was the Library’s move to restore passport services. The City Council approved that $30,000 of federal ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds go toward the library’s reinstatement of non-regular part-time staff to handle the workload needed to handle passport photo services.

Another agenda item concerned the success of the most recent Friends of the Fullerton Public Library book sales, the next one of which will be held on June 24.

Also discussed was the fee structure for the vendor that currently handles patrons’ missing books, and which charges $10 per collection to do so.

Library Board Meetings are held on the 4th Thursday of each month at 6pm in the Main Library Conference room. Residents can also attend via Zoom under the meeting ID 874 9935 5517. The next meeting is on May 26.

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