Library Faces Shortened Hours After Layoffs

Students and professors alike have been facing challenges that have come from changes to the Kelly Library. As of May the library lost four full time positions and one part time positions. The part time positions alone have resulted in a reduction of 22-24 work hours. As a result of these reductions the library has had a change in hours of operation. The library previously operated 92 ½ hours a week, now it operates on 70 hours a week. Last year the library opened at 7:30 a.m. and remained open until midnight Monday through Thursday. Now it opens at 8 a.m. and closes at 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and on Fridays closes at 5 p.m. as always. The biggest change though is that the library is now closed on Saturdays where it used to be open 10-5. Hours have been reduced on Sunday’s from 2-12 a.m., to 5-10 p.m.

“Prior to eliminations we had been somewhat stretched with our hours. Now we are tissue paper thin,” Interim Library Director Jane Caldwell said of the new staffing changes that. The positions that were eliminated all had a diversity of responsibilities and abilities, such as an Interlibrary Loan Assistant, who also served as Governmental Documents Contact and backup Circulation Assistant. “You lose a flexibility with these job cuts,” Caldwell said. Another position that was eliminated was the Archivist, who served as the archivist for both Emory & Henry College and the Holston Conference.

The other main change to the library is, of course, the renovation which according to Caldwell the “bulk of it is complete.” We can expect to see furniture in the renovated areas in the first weeks of October with the rest of the renovations being completed soon after. Among the other new announcements is that the college is beginning to search for a Dean of the Library this week and that individual when hired should be able to help sort out all these new changes at the library.

– Ethan King

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