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No staff cuts expected in merger of Bridgeville, South Fayette libraries

| Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, 3:45 p.m.
Randy Jarosz | For The Bridgeville Area News
Sisters Elena Gibbs, 4, (left) and Elise Gibbs, 23 months, both of South Fayette, color a craft during preschool story time Friday, Jan. 25, 2014, at Bridgeville Public Library.

The Bridgeville Public Library won't lose any staff positions as a result of its operations merger with the South Fayette Library.

In fact, South Fayette Library director Rebecca Long said she hopes the opposite will occur.

“We're actually going to add positions and (staff) hours,” said Long, who has been overseeing both libraries since the beginning of the year.

She said three people work the floor of the library, which has had financial troubles, but the hope is to increase that number to five plus a children's programming director.

A manager is being hired for the Bridgeville facility. Former library director Donna Taylor's position was eliminated as part of the merger.

Long said she has received five applications for the manager's position, and she is rewriting the duties of other positions.

“It's going to be kind of all new positions,” she said. “Anyone is free to apply for a new position. I am being conscious of the skill set of current staff and what they would like to do and how they would fit in moving forward.”

Mike Aquilina III, library trustees secretary and borough liaison, said plans have focused on operations.

“We've been focusing on getting Rebecca (Long) on board, getting the job descriptions written and getting a manager brought in,” he said. “We're excited to kick off the strategic component.”

The strategic side will focus on cooperation with South Fayette, he said, including designing programming that can be used in both libraries.

“I think things are going very well,” he said.

Long said she doesn't plan to start taking applications for the rewritten positions until a library manager has been hired.

Changes have been made to the Bridgeville library's operating budget.

The spending plan was slashed from $400,000 in 2012 to $200,000 last year, and Long said the estimated operating budget for 2014 is just more than $153,000.

“The Bridgeville library is still going to have control over funds for the physical facility and for taking care of equipment in the facility. That will remain with the Bridgeville board,” Long said. “We will take the (Regional Asset District) funding, state aid and money the borough gives for support.”

She said officials approved an increase to Bridgeville's programming budget — from $2,000 to $4,000.

Staff training needs were addressed, Long said, and she has written a behavior policy for patrons, something the library previously lacked.

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