WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Warren-Trumbull County Public Library announced Tuesday that they will be laying off 29 employees across their system. One employee is also retiring.
Effective Tuesday, Library Director Jim Wilkins said they are reducing the number of library employees by about 25%. The layoffs include positions at multiple locations and departments.
“This has been an extremely difficult decision,” said Wilkins. “We understand the impact this action will have on our employees and their families in what is already a very challenging time.
The Warren-Trumbull County Public Library furloughed 97 employees in early May because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thirty of those employees were brought back to the library when it reopened at the beginning of June, while 37 will come back as they move into the next phase of reopening.
Due to a decrease in state funding, the library is expected to lose almost $1 million in annual revenue. Wilkins said the layoffs and other measures will save the library about $1 million.
“As we realized that our funding will be greatly reduced for the remainder of the year, it became clear it is necessary to reduce our operating costs,” Wilkins said. “As good stewards of our public funds, we feel compelled to take this step to keep within our budget.”
Before the pandemic, the library system was open 325 hours per week across locations. The system is now open 200 hours per week. It will move to 284 hours per week in the next phase.
The system is made up of libraries in Brookfield, Cortland, Howland, Liberty, Lordstown and Warren.