Library to stay open 23 hours weekly

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Lincoln Library Director Darla Wegener will leave her position in two to three months, according to the proposed 2011/2012 budget discussion at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. That will enable the Twelve Bridges Library to remain open 23 hours per week, according to Jatczak. During Tuesday’s meeting, Assistant City Manager/Chief Financial Officer Anna Jatczak discussed an option to keep the Twelve Bridges Library open for 23 hours, instead of a previously proposed 12 hours. The Carnegie Library will be closed next fiscal year, according to Jatczak. The new fiscal year begins July 1. “This is said with respect and all due respect to Darla because the library is her passion and she has devoted a great deal of time and expertise to keep the library open,” Jatczak said. “Unfortunately, the budget for 2011-2012 is budgeted for 50 percent of the library director. Darla is to remain with us for the two- to three-month transition period while we figure out the service delivery model.” The new model would include “retaining somebody on contract to manage the library at the management supervision level,” Jatczak said. Shirely Russell, a Friends of the Lincoln Library volunteer, gave her suggestion for contracting out the supervisory position. “I hope the person will not be in Maine but will be in Lincoln because the staff needs support and a person there to help keep them going,” Russell said. “A consultant needs to be on deck.” City Manager Jim Estep discussed who the potential supervisor could be. “We’re talking about a retired annuitant, who is willing to work and certainly not get benefits so it would be an immediate decrease in cost and then hours decreased to match the hours the library is open,” Estep said. Wegener’s employment contract with the city was amended by City Council on May 24 to reduce her salary by 25 percent, which makes her annual salary $79,498, according to her amendment to agreement for employment. Estep also addressed Russell’s concern. “The concern I have heard about is someone on site is in reference to a consultant we’ve been speaking to, merely to get input on service delivery models,” Estep said. Wegener said the decision made Tuesday night provides “a clear direction on where we need to go.” “It is highly likely that I will be leaving the city, but with this plan, I’m able to transition the library,” Wegener said. The News Messenger asked Wegener on Wednesday morning about her plans after she leaves the library. “I’m just looking at different options and I’ve been interviewing,” Wegener said. “It’s very competitive. I think that I’ll find something hopefully soon.”