April 28, 2020

Columbus Metropolitan Library announces reduced staff hours amid COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic

COLUMBUS—Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) today announced it has applied for the SharedWork Ohio program through the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS). CML’s SharedWork Ohio (SWO) application will result in the reduction of hours of 237 non-furloughed employees. This decision is part of an effort to curtail library expenditures to cover anticipated revenue reductions for the months ahead.

Affected employees will work reduced hours ranging from 10 to 50 percent fewer hours each week. Through the SWO program, ODJFS will provide CML employees unemployment insurance proportionate to their reduced hours. The reduction in hours will go into effect as early as May 3, pending final approval by ODJFS. Health benefits will continue to be provided for all affected employees currently enrolled. The employee assistance program provided by the library will also continue to be available.

On April 13, CML announced the furlough of 609 full- and part-time employees whose jobs were unable to be performed remotely as a result of the library’s extended closure due to the ongoing pandemic. The furloughs went into effect on Sunday, April 19.

CML has significantly reduced planned expenditures in its 2020 operating budget and announced a hiring freeze and other cost-saving measures that equate to more than $7.8 million.

All CML locations have been closed since March 14. While CML locations remain closed for this extended period of time, digital library resources are available at columbuslibrary.org, including eBooks, eAudiobooks, magazines, movies and music, plus research and learning tools.

Columbus Metropolitan Library has served the people of Franklin County, Ohio since 1873. With its Main Library and 22 branches, CML is well known for signature services and programs like Homework Help, Reading Buddies, Summer Reading Challenge and Ready for Kindergarten. The library’s Strategic Plan supports the vision of “a thriving community where wisdom prevails,” which positions CML to respond to areas of urgent need: kids unprepared for kindergarten, third grade reading proficiency, high school graduation, college and career readiness and employment resources.

CML was named a 2011 National Medal Winner by the Institute for Museum and Library Services for work in community service, the highest honor for libraries and museums. CML was also named 2010 Library of the Year by Library Journal.