Libraries, museum face “service redesign”

inyosupervisorsTuesday, the Inyo Supervisors will consider restructuring of the County Library and Museum departments.

Members of the public continue to return to the fact that County officials approved more than $2 million in employee raises without the funds available to pay for them. The County Administrator maintained that the workers were due these increases. In the wake of all that, officials now look hard at how to save dollars to balance the budget. The latest proposal comes from Deputy County Administrator Pam Hennarty. She proposes four options – one of which would eliminate either the Library or the Museum Director with one of them overseeing Libraries and Museums. This items were scheduled to come up at 1:15pm.

Library Director Nancy Masters has two of her own recommendations – one would spend $167,000 more than last year when the County reduced her employee budget by 27%. This “roadmap” plan for full-coverage staffing includes updated job duties, titles and pay. The Librarian’s second “budget plan” would make no savings but no more costs, even with updated job duties, titles and pay increases for all staff. There would be a reduction of 22 hours per week, although it would abide by an MOU with the County Superintendent of Schools to keep the Libraries open one or two nights per week with extended hours Saturday. The Museum cost of just over $200,000 per year would stay the same.

The Deputy CAO then presents four Service Redesign options, which all include Library closure on Mondays. The first option would keep 2013-2014 funding levels the same and begin to reorganize the Library and Museum departments with employees who could work for both departments. This plan would save $6600 out of Libraries. The Museum cost would stay the same. Officials would work with the unions to cross-train employees to cover both Libraries and the Museum.

Service Redesign Options Two and Three would further reduce staff and combine duties of Library and Museum with new or existing workers. These options would cause Museum hours to be reduced from seven to five days per week. Option two would save $87,000. Option three would save $47,000. Option Two would cut costs in the Library and Museum. Option Three would cut the Library but add money to Museums.

Option Four would combine the Library and Museum Departments and do away with one of the Directors. This option would save $147,000. Librarian Nancy Masters points to the growing importance of library services for access to the internet and educational opportunities that otherwise would not be available to a number of citizens. In hard economic times, people rely more on the libraries for education and information. She also pointed to the importance of the Museum and its documentation of Owens Valley history and availability to the public.

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22 Responses to Libraries, museum face “service redesign”

  1. The pedestrian June 18, 2014 at 10:55 pm #

    Libraries are great, and in the spirit of Ray Bradbury I can also say they have shaped my life. My iphone is nothing compared to a great novel. Whenever someone says books are dead it makes me happy they know not of what they speak.

  2. Steve June 17, 2014 at 1:17 pm #

    Where is the cuts to law enforcement. They have the biggest budget of tax dollars. a small cut to them would be a big cut to any other group.

  3. LordLoveADuck June 17, 2014 at 5:58 am #


    Cost of iPhone: ~$425
    Cost of service: ~$100 per month
    Cost of iPad : ~$380
    Cost of printer: ~$ 80 plus cost of ink and paper
    Cost of access: ~$ 70 per month
    Cost of e-book: ~$ 8 each

    Cost of book or download of e-book from the library: Free.
    Cost of internet access at the library: Free
    Cost of printing or copying at the library: 10 cents a page

    Do we really have to explain that not everyone has hundreds of dollars to spend on those devices you take for granted? Kids, single parents, seniors, the disabled, the under employed, the unemployed? It’s probably useless to explain that books, especially rare, out of print, or reference books, can have their own intrinsic value, because that idea has probably never entered your head, any more than using your iPhone to look up “museums in Inyo county” has.

    For all your access to data, you’re woefully uninformed.

    • timtraynor June 17, 2014 at 8:55 am #

      Nothing at the library is free to tax paying citizens.
      Our overly taxed income pays for the library and such.
      Many schools are providing tablets and laptops to students.
      WiFi access can be cheaply or freely accessed.
      Close the costly,smelly, out of date library.

      • Ken Warner June 17, 2014 at 12:18 pm #

        timtraynor: Exactly how much tax do you pay to support libraries in Inyo and/or Mono Counties? Exactly how much? And do you think all the alternatives you listed: tablets, laptops, wifi are free?

        You seem to have a grudge against libraries. I won’t ask why.

        • Bob June 17, 2014 at 1:55 pm #

          Last time I was at the library there was just a bunch of weirdo’s surfing dating and porn sites

          • Ken Warner June 17, 2014 at 9:06 pm #

            Bob: Sounds like a weird town you live in.

          • Bob June 18, 2014 at 7:31 am #

            Crowley Lake Library

    • RAM June 18, 2014 at 1:56 pm #

      Well the Library will be closed when you need to use it so you had better get the checkbook out and buy all those things listed.

  4. Don June 16, 2014 at 8:01 pm #

    Within all of the communities I have lived over my few short years, the local Library has been a center of our community and in Markleeville with Music on the Lawn fund raisers for the Friends of the Library, many children’s and family activities and so many understated and positive influences within our families and our community… Don…

  5. Sunoma June 16, 2014 at 6:34 pm #

    Looks like once again the most vulnerable and economically disadvantaged are going to take another hit. Library users are often those who don’t have any other means to access the internet or read a newspaper. We should be directing more money into our library and museum instead of increasing the pay of a few already highly paid county workers. Who on earth is responsible for the decisions and actions that put us in this situation? I hope the board room is filled to capacity at 1:15 pm on Tuesday. We need some questions answered.

    • Trouble June 17, 2014 at 5:52 am #

      Sunoma hit on some very interesting new world topics. With internet and cell phones taking over our home, jobs and schools, it is almost a crime not to proved all kids with access to at least the internet. I have family in another state and their kids have no use for books at their schools anymore. It’s a laptop generation and all kids need one.
      I guess what I getting to, is I strongly believe our local schools need to get on board with electronic age sooner rather than later.

  6. timtraynor June 16, 2014 at 5:32 pm #

    I have lived in the area for over 25 years and did not know there were museums that
    Inyo County operated.
    I carry a library in my pants–it is called an iPhone.
    I have a bigger library in my backpack– it is called an iPad.

    • Ken Warner June 17, 2014 at 9:40 am #

      timtraynor: The great thing about books is that they don’t need batteries, webaccess or cell phone towers to work.

    • Farrah N. Heit 451 June 17, 2014 at 3:18 pm #

      Yes; and Amazon and the NSA know exactly what books you’ve read on your little energy-sucking gizmos.

      Viva les livres papier!

      And could someone more clever than I please make a joke about someone having a library in his/her pants?


  7. Darlene Nichols June 16, 2014 at 3:18 pm #

    I have lived in Bishop for over 27 years now. One of the first places I went to check out after getting settled was the library. I cannot imagine a city without having access to knowledge and help that a library provides.

    This is where children are introduced to the wonders of the world all through a simple book.

    This is where people come to read newspapers, magazines, books.

    The Bishop library has its own history just the same as the museum; the only difference is the museum is of things of the past while our library brings us the future.

  8. Wondering June 16, 2014 at 2:40 pm #

    I wonder how many people in the private sector deserve a raise as much as Inyo Employees feel they deserve a raise?

    I don’t think it would work for them to vote themselves raises and force the boss to cut services thereby reducing profit. Only in the public sector does that happen because they are funded by taxes not actuallly by what they produce.

    The bottom line is that the Inyo Board must increase taxes and fees or cut services, for giving a raise to employees that they could not afford to give. It is amazing that they did this without any thought of how they would pay for it.

  9. Steve June 16, 2014 at 12:55 pm #

    The county leadership is a joke. They first create the problem with a raises for everyone, then they cut services, raise fees, proposed/partner with the city of Bishop for tax increase. Now the County wants to layoff workers and at the same time increase the wages for top earners. You cannot make this up.

  10. Bob June 16, 2014 at 11:19 am #

    Service redesign = cut in services

    • Philip Anaya June 16, 2014 at 8:32 pm #

      Service redesign should entail more service less cost . As an example the Landfill redesign situation has worked out to be less service more cost . Bob has nailed it. The way we are going with all this service redesign is public relations road apples piled higher then the Sierra Divide. Is there any investment , any ideas about a creation of an aggresive Grant Writing program in here in Inyo County . The vast public lands of Inyo County could benefit from appropriate Grants for services to the transient tourist population. I think that it is equitable for the various State and Federal Governmental Agencies to support services to the visitors including Libraries and the Museum. The library system in Inyo County is more than books . It is document central for CEQA ,DWP ,Inyo County Planning ,Water ,CAO , Human Services every department ,every governmental agency ,Cal Trans , DFW,Inyo National Forest,BLM, they all issue public documents and access to the information is distributed by the Library system a vital componet to our democracy . Service redesign should incorporate improvements in knowledge and access to decisions rather than limit hours, staff, documents. We must find another way for service redesign or find some resources to fund these services . Either that or be honest enough to call it a cutback in essential services.

  11. Taxpayer June 16, 2014 at 11:11 am #

    I know this is and will be an unpopular comment, but it is 2014, we no longer NEED a library. Yes, we should keep the museum. As taxpayers, we need to look at the cost and benefit. The cost is over 400,000 dollars a year for the libraries in our county. Who is benefiting from them? The libraries are used primarily for internet; there is wifi all over town. I don’t agree with the raises for certain department heads, however it happened and is not going to change any time soon. So lets start with unnnecessary costs with little to no benefit: libraries.

    • Ken Warner June 16, 2014 at 4:54 pm #

      Taxpayer: You probably don’t need a library. But there are a lot of people who still like to read. I couldn’t afford to buy all the books I read.

      Eventually, our local libraries will be a distributor for eBooks and eBook readers. But books still hold a charm and an experience that can’t be matched by staring at your smart phone.

      People in Bishop don’t NEED the park and the pool. But they still like to use them.


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