Tuscaloosa Public Library Slashes Hours, Hiring and Programs to Cut Costs
The Tuscaloosa Public Library will soon reduce hours at all three of its area branches, freeze all hiring and remove or reduce some of its programming "to compensate for annual funding levels that have not kept pace with inflation."
The changes, announced in a Monday morning press release, will be effective next Tuesday, November 1st.
At least one branch will be open every day of the week, but the Main Library on Jack Warner Parkway will now be closed every Monday, and the Weaver-Bolden and Brown branches of the Library will be closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The organization also announced a hiring freeze, which will remove 10 unfilled positions from TPL's budget for fiscal year 2023.
“Deciding to implement these measures was not an easy one,” said TPL's Board of Trustees Chairman Dr. Florence Williams. “The Board fully supports the Library’s administration and staff. Even with service hour changes and spending reductions, we will do our very best to fulfill the Library’s mission and core values to serve the public as best we can.”
TPL's Executive Director Jennifer Pearson said the new closures and hiring freeze will allow TPL to maintain minimal staffing levels and other cost-reducting strategies will also be implemented.
Most notably, TPL's 2023 Summer Reading Program will be reduced from 8 weeks to 4 weeks and the library will no longer offer free access to the following electronic resources: Freegal, Rocket Languages, Tumble Books, True Flix, Foundation Center, Kanopy, Swank Movie Licensing, and Heritage Quest.
"The Tuscaloosa Public Library will continue providing learning opportunities for our community as best we can with limited resources," Pearson said. "It continues to be our mission to help our community Read, Learn, Grow, and Live!”