Representatives from the Norwell Public Library appeared before selectmen Wednesday night, to inform them of plans to open up on Sundays on a trial basis.
Library Trustee Jeanne Ivas informed selectmen about plans to open the library on Sunday afternoons for a few months, using existing employees that will be paid time and a half at a total cost of $6,175, which would be funded from the library’s existing state aid.
Ivas told selectmen, “We do plan to operate three Sundays a month, from January to April. The Sundays that are not open are usually on the long weekends and Sundays in March are all around the Easter holidays. So we’re thrilled that we’re able to try this!”
However, Selectmen and Town Administrator Jim Boudreau are expressing reservations about the move becoming a permanent budget item and hot button political issue.
Boudreau said, “Last year the library’s budget was 45 hours. They were able to increase it within their own usage by having someone retire and they went to 51 hours. Then they were saying by budgeting 45 hours you were cutting their hours, from 51. I think what the board is saying is that they don’t want to be accused, the advisory board doesn’t want to be accused and I, doing the budget, don’t want to be accused of cutting library hours, when I’m not putting Sunday hours in and being told I’m cutting hours when this is an experiment – it’s a trial – and it’s not a reduction in service in the library, if it’s not funded in the budget.”
Boudreau said the library should go before the personnel board first, before moving forward with the plan.