Library faces cuts: Mayor proposes $300K trim in Mead budget

For the second year in a row, the Mead Public Library could see reduced services and staff, as well as disqualify it for participation in the library system that allows it to share materials and services with other libraries in the region.

Sheboygan Mayor Bob Ryan last week proposed cutting $300,000, or 11 percent, from the $2,635,988 the Mead Public Library got last year. If Ryan’s budget is passed, three library jobs will be eliminated.

Ryan said he hopes to avoid layoffs through union concessions, which would be applied to the non-unionized library workers, he said.

While Ryan’s proposal is the first step in a budget process that won’t end until December, cuts that deep again raise the possibility that the Mead Library could be booted from the Eastern Shores Library System, a consortium of 13 libraries in Ozaukee and Sheboygan counties that shares resources to provide better services and keep costs down.

To meet Ryan’s budget mandate, Library Director Sharon Winkle said she plans on recommending reducing staff work weeks from 40 to 38 hours, delaying 2.5 percent in wage hikes until December 2011, making staff take unpaid furlough days, spending less on materials and reorganizing the adult services department, including cutting hours the reference desk will be open.