“The Detroit Public Library is in the midst of a fiscal crisis that is unprecedented in magnitude and is likely to continue beyond this fiscal year,” DPL Executive Director Jo Anne Mondowney said in a January 18 memo to all employees. The erosion of funding will result in a drastic reduction in personnel and other operating expenses.
“All of our major revenues are declining,” Mondowney went on to say. “Property tax collection continues to have a valuation decline. The state continues to have their budget issues, resulting in a reduction of state aid.” She noted that in the past special “Renaissance Zone” funding has offered a steady source of revenue, but that source “is also in jeopardy.”
“The confluence of economic trends will cause a structural deficit” for the library, Mondowney stated, and to respond to that deficit, “the library will need to drastically reduce personnel and other operating costs.”
The memo to staff goes on to say that the Detroit Library Commission has authorized the library administration to plan for a reduction in workforce that will include layoffs and furloughs, to be implemented by March 31.
Since most DPL employees are represented by labor unions, Mondowney said the library’s human resources department would contact each union leader to schedule a meeting for individual negotiations.