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Woodbury Library Will Be Closed Sundays, Mondays, Starting Next Year

The move is part of a cost-cutting measure in the wake of Lake Elmo opting to start its own library.

The decision to close all Washington County libraries on Sundays and Mondays starting next year became official Tuesday after a vote by the board of commissioners.

The in Woodbury, one of the most popular in the state, is not immune to the cuts.

“We’re all saddened,” said Patricia Conley, Washington County Library director. “I don’t think anybody advocates for this.”

The county was prepared for reduced funding from the state and , including Woodbury's, open seven days a week, Conley said.

But when of the Washington County Library system, deeper cuts became necessary, she said.

“Closing Sunday and Monday was due to losing the tax base from Lake Elmo,” Conley said.

The total reduction from Lake Elmo’s decision is $260,000.

Library officials tried to transition the Lake Elmo branch to an “library express” service, like the one Hugo, Conley said. But the city wanted its library open more hours.

“We could not meet their expectations, so they fired us,” she said.

The Sunday and Monday reductions will impact 10 people and the equivalent of 5.5 full-time positions (220 hours of staff time).

The Tuesday through Saturday schedule at the Woodbury library will not change, Conley said.

Library officials are not looking for sympathy and will work to maintain a high level of service, Conley said.

“We’re trying to do the best we can with what we have,” she said.

The new hours go into effect Jan. 1, 2012.

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Eric Berg November 22, 2011 at 10:53 PM
It's disappointing. I'm a big library guy. I worked in one in high school and college and continue to read voraciously...but at the same time I understand that money is tight all over. Hopefully, this can lead to a discussion and a plan for how to best use the limited resources that are available in the long term instead of what seems to be a short-term solution.
Mark Wackerfuss November 23, 2011 at 01:18 AM
Eric, I agree. I think the board did what they could. After speaking with a commissioner, it came down to a money issue. Not so much, the needs and value that the library serves.
Qin Tang November 23, 2011 at 06:02 AM
Sorry to hear the news. Our Woodbury Library is an important part of the community. Its closing on Sundays and Mondays will have a negative effect on library users, and also on Central Park and the business there. Hope this is just a temperary situation.
Mark Wackerfuss November 23, 2011 at 02:48 PM
Qin, This is supposed to be temporary until budgeting allows for more library time (para.) according to our county commissioner.
Julie Ohs November 23, 2011 at 06:03 PM
I understand the funding issue and the tough decisions to be made. Having said that, I do not support being closed 2 days in a row. I am concerned for the students and job seekers that need the internet/computer access. I would have preferred reduced hours instead of closing for 2 full days.

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