Tag: Birmingham Public Libary
The Birmingham City Council appointed five new members to the Birmingham Public Library’s board of trustees Tuesday, replacing a majority of the board’s current lineup, including President Eunice Johnson Rogers.
It’s a high-profile shake-up for the library board, which over the past several years has proven a lightning rod for controversy. Read more.
In a Friday afternoon emergency meeting, the Birmingham Public Library board of trustees voted unanimously to furlough 158 of the system’s 211 employees. The cutbacks were a response to city budget cuts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to Mayor Randall Woodfin’s recommendation to cut the library’s budget to less than half of last year’s amount.
The furloughs will be effective Sept. 25. Of the 158 furloughed employees, 91 are full-time and 67 are part-time employees.
Most of Friday afternoon’s meeting took place in a 90-minute, private executive session. The board did not reveal which employees would be furloughed or which library branches would be closed as a result. Read more.
The Birmingham Public Library now has its operating budget for fiscal year 2021 — and it’s much lower than expected, which means “tough decisions” lie ahead for the BPL board of trustees.
During Tuesday’s board meeting, trustees lamented the “moving target” they’d been given by Mayor Randall Woodfin’s office. The city’s overall budget has been greatly reduced as a result of reduced business tax revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The library first had been allocated $12.8 million in Woodfin’s proposed FY 2021 budget, which was bumped up shortly afterward to $15.3 million, bringing it roughly even with its operating budget from this year. Then, board members said, their city attorney had given them a third number that was less than half of that — $7.039 million.
The real number, Woodfin told board members and city councilors during a “last-minute” informational call Wednesday, is even less than that. The library’s total budget in his recommendation for FY 2021 is $6.2 million, he said — and it’s spent $2.6 million of that since July.
“I want everybody to hear it at the same time,” Woodfin says in a recording of the call obtained by BirminghamWatch. “Your remaining budget you have from October 1 to June 30 is $3.6 million — not a dollar more.” Read more.
Its embattled executive director might be keeping his job for now, but the landscape at the Birmingham Public Library remains in flux. One seat on the library’s nine-member board of trustees is newly vacant, and a second will be empty by the end of the year. Read more.