April 13, 2020

Columbus Metropolitan Library announces staff furloughs amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic

COLUMBUS—Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) today announced a personnel cost-reduction plan that will result in 609 full- and part-time employees to be furloughed. CML currently employs 846 full- and part-time staff members. The announcement comes as a result of the library’s extended closure due to the ongoing public health pandemic. The furloughs are effective Sunday, April 19, 2020.

All furloughed employees hold positions where job functions are unable to be performed remotely while the library is closed. Health benefits will continue to be provided for those furloughed employees currently enrolled. The employee assistance program provided by the library will also be available for all affected employees.

“To help get Columbus Metropolitan Library through this period of great uncertainty, we had to make some incredibly hard decisions to reduce our operating costs,” said CEO Patrick Losinski. “I want the community to know that each and every one of our staff members are incredibly important to the work that we do, and we look forward to having everyone back to work following this unprecedented public health crisis.”

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

Those employees not furloughed will be subject to pay reductions ranging from 2.5% to 10%. The salary of CML’s CEO will be reduced by 20%.

All CML locations have been closed since March 14, and will remain closed through at least May 2. While CML locations will be 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.