This Q&A is intended to provide additional information and context in response to a letter you received from a former trustee concerning the Timberland Regional Library (TRL).
Question: Did administrative salaries increase from 2019 to 2020?
Answer: Yes. TRL completed an organizational Classification and Compensation Study in 2019 by an outside consultant. The results of that study showed that the majority of TRL staff members were being paid below market and administrative positions were reclassified and received new salary ranges. Existing members of administration took on additional responsibilities and, in most cases, vacated administrative positions were not filled. TRL saw a savings of more than $500,000 in salaries and benefits by consolidating the work of nine administrative positions into six administrative positions.
Question: The TRL Board of Trustees were unaware of these salary changes?
Answer: This is not true. The Board of Trustees were made aware of changes well before they occurred. See the timeline about the 2018-2020 Classification and Compensation Study. The Board of Trustees approved the salary increases for all staff, including administrative positions, at the Dec.18, 2019, board meeting.
Question: Did administration get raises in a pandemic?
Answer: The salary changes were approved pre-pandemic.
Question: Did one member of administration get a 23 percent raise from 2019 to 2020?
Answer: Not exactly. This individual’s salary has increased in a new position. The position they held previously was in a different classification and salary range than the position they are now holding.
Question: Are you planning to close libraries?
Answer: No. We have no plans or proposals to close any of our libraries. In fact, we are adding three additional service points and beginning mobile services (bookmobiles) in 2021 to increase community engagement. We are staffing these services with existing staff.
Question: Will we start getting fewer new books?
Answer: Any delays in receiving new materials is a direct result of U.S. printing and distribution issues and the pandemic. Our materials budget is getting an increase in 2021 which will result in more materials, not fewer, for our patrons to access both digitally and physically. Our goal is always to provide the widest access with our limited resources and to bridge the digital divide for patrons wherever they may be located in our five counties.
Question: Will the libraries be open fewer hours?
Answer: We have no plans to reduce the hours our libraries are open. Quite the opposite, in fact. We are asking for Board approval to fund access controls which will increase the security of our libraries and their contents. Our McCleary Library has been successful using expanded access hours for almost two (2) years and we would like to implement this service in additional libraries.
Question: Are you planning to go out for a levy lid lift?
Answer: The Board of Trustees has not made a decision to pursue a levy lid lift.
Timberland Regional Library Administration