Great Falls library closed due to staffing shortage
The Great Falls Public Library is closing for the weekend due to a staff shortage.
The library will close at 6 p.m. Oct. 21 and remain closed through Oct. 25.
The hours the library will be open after that will be determined on staff availability.
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Pick-up window and phone service will still be available Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Library Director Susie McIntyre told The Electric that there are currently seven staff out sick. Three have tested positive for COVID and four are experiencing symptoms and awaiting test results, she said.
There two vacancies at the library, one for a full-time library specialist and one for a 29-hour-per week library clerk.
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McIntyre said they’ll be interviewing for those positions on Monday and hope to have them filled as soon as possible.
Staffing shortages have been a concern to library officials for years and recently McIntyre has been discussing with city and county officials the need to reevaluate the library’s funding structure as she believes it’s not sustainable to be able to offer the necessary services and the library is already struggling to meet the operating hours requirements for the state public library standards.
If they don’t meet those standards, they risk losing about $31,000 in state funding.
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Earlier in October, she walked County Commissioners through some of the options for funding structures and that the library needs about another $1 million for its annual operating budget to maintain adequate services and expand some services.