Tuscaloosa Public Library Announces More Cost-Saving Measures, Branch to Permanently Close
The Tuscaloosa Public Library has announced a series of cost-saving measures including the permanent closure of one of its branches as its leadership continues to face daunting financial challenges.
A library spokesperson shared news of the changes Monday morning after a meeting of the TPL Board of Trustees.
One major cost cut comes with the elimination of the library's Overdrive/Libby electronic database, cutting access to more than 40,000 e-books and other offerings.
TPL will institute a hiring freeze and remove nine unfilled positions from their budgets, leaving their existing staff spread thin.
They will spend 15 percent less on the purchase of books and materials, a cut that comes on top of a 30 percent reduction in 2022.
They will cut some programming, including a reduction of the 2024 Summer Reading Program from eight weeks to just four.
Finally, TPL will adjust hours of operation at the Main Library on Jack Warner Parkway and dramatically reduce hours at the Brown Branch Library at the Bobby Miller Activity Center in southern Tuscaloosa County before permanently closing it early next year.
"Through a combined effort with Tuscaloosa County, TPL will be purchasing three book vending machines with America Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds from Tuscaloosa County," a Library spokesperson said. "The machines will be placed throughout the county as we reimagine library services in an effort to increase access and serve more areas of the population. One machine will be located at the Bobby Miller Para Center, as it will close on February 2, 2024."
Until it shuts down, the Brown Branch will only open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Mondays and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays.
Hours of operation at the Weaver-Bolden Library will remain unchanged.
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