The Gazette covers City Hall, now a flood-damaged icon on May's Island in the Cedar River

Seven at library laid off; flood that closed main library finally has caught up with them

In Cedar Rapids Public Library on April 17, 2009 at 5:01 pm

The city has laid off seven library employees, two full timers and five part-time employees. In total, it is the equivalent of four full-time employees, Conni Huber, the city’s human resources director, said on Friday.

One of the positions was eliminated as part of the city’s new budget, and the others who have lost jobs consisted of a supervisor and five employees who shelve books part time, Huber noted.

With the main library closed because of last June’s flood and not to be rebuilt for a couple years, the main library is operating in a much smaller, temporary setup at Westdale Mall.

“Since the volume of materials is greatly reduced, there is not enough work to keep them all busy,” Huber said.

In the aftermath of the June flood, Huber noted that some library personnel helped in a variety of other city departments, mostly in code enforcement. In addition, she said some library staff members have worked at the Marion and Hiawatha libraries to handle increased traffic from Cedar Rapids residents. And some library staff helped, too, in converting the former Osco’s space at Westdale Mall into the temporary library space.

“We now do not have those needs and so had to take this action,” Huber said.

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