GAINESVILLE - The Hall County Library System Board of Directors will revisit the question of reduced hours of operation when it meets Tuesday.
"I have the hours on the agenda under old business," said Library Director Adrian Mixson. "I believe the board needs an opportunity to discuss hours but consensus from all staff is to leave the hours as they are unless we can add hours which we cannot do. Patrons are just now starting to understand when we are open."
In October, the North Hall and Spout Springs branches began staying open half-a-day on Saturdays on a rotating basis and the Gainesville branch half-a-day every Saturday. The board, which had been discussing closing all branches all day on weekend days, had voted in September for the half-day schedule.
"We laid off 20 people two years ago," Mixson added, "and have had a twenty percent turnover since July. We had one branch manager resign for a better position at UGA, two branch managers retire and lost our circulation manager to Stephens County. She is actually the Toccoa librarian. We also opened a new facility."
Mixson said time is need to "work through training all this new staff" and he noted "we still (have) furlough (days) and employees had their insurance costs go up in January. We have employees who have been able to find more stable, better paying positions elsewhere. We have become a library system where people come to be trained."
The turnover is not just with paid staff.
The vice chairman of the board, Lynn Adams, left the board in November. Mixson said Adams, who lives in Clermont, resigned because her full-time job - running the YMCA in Cleveland - and graduate school were "eating up all her time." A board committee had named several candidates from the current board membership to fill the vice-chairman's position but no decision on a successor to Adams has been named.
The board meets at 6:00 p.m. Tuesday at the main branch in downtown Gainesville.