Library’s Budget Plan Has Raises

The proposed 2009 operating budget for the East Baton Rouge Parish Library includes $1 million dollars to fund 16 new positions and to increase current salaries by an average of 15 percent.

The raises are long overdue, notes Library Director David Farrar. Baton-Roughe has not approved raises for library employees in eight years. He argues that low salaries led many qualified public librarians to accept higher wages (for fewer hours) at local public school systems.

Not every position would receive a pay increase. However, the proposed budget would raise the salaries of a variety of positions, from division heads to part-time shelvers.

The budget must be approved by both the Library Board and the Metro Council. Library Board leadership has affirmed the importance of salaries in retaining librarians. “If you want to keep the best library system in the state,” says Library Board President Dan Reed, “new buildings are nice, but you need to keep good people.”

The Library Board will vote on the budget June 18.