News

KRL cuts hours to save dollars

By CHARLIE BERMANT

Kitsap County writer

The Kitsap Regional Library system recently cut its hours in a money-saving effort made necessary by the defeat of a funding levy lift last May.

“It’s a natural reality of having to save money,” said KRL Board Member Althea Paulson. “We haven’t cut any jobs, although there are some positions that won’t be filled.

“We don’t have the money,” she said. “So we had to make these cuts.”

A total of 44 hours are being cut, spread across nine libraries.

Bainbridge Island, Port Orchard, Poulsbo, Silverdale and Sylvan Way will each lose seven hours. Libraries losing three are downtown Bremerton, Little Boston and Manchester.

The Kingston Library will see no changes.

“Shorter hours may be a hard thing for patrons to swallow,” Paulson said. “But I feel good about how the staff managed to do this. They determined which hours where the libraries are used the least and closed during those times.”

Paulson said that a lot of patrons will use the Internet to get information, as the KRL Web site has just been improved. She expects more community activities, such as book groups, will be coordinated through the Web site.

Paulson said the budget cuts would have been a lot worse if not for the efforts of KRL Director Jill Jean.

“As soon as we lost the levy we started cutting back,” Jean said. “We had to reinvent our spending and be conscious of every single dollar so we could carry over some of the 2007 budget over to 2008. We’ve had to postpone some projects and not buy as many copies of some bestsellers, but we’ve cut everywhere possible.”

For specific branch information, visit www.krl.org.

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