RED BANK: LIBRARY MAY RESTORE SATURDAYS

rb library 092214The resumption of Saturday service is expected to occur as early as this weekend, officials said. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Moving to reverse one of the more controversial actions of its predecessors, members of the recently reconstituted board of the Red Bank Public Library are expected to clear the way for a resumption of Saturday operations this week.

A special meeting of the board has been scheduled for Thursday evening, solely for the purpose of voting on the proposal. That would allow the facility to be open as soon as this Saturday, acting director Elizabeth McDermott tells redbankgreen.

The hours of operation are a matter for the board to decide, McDermott said, but board president Sara Hansen said the facility would open for less than a full day for now. She called the measure a step toward full restoration of hours cut in the midst of a disputed funding crisis earlier this year.

“We’re just going to get it open,” Hansen said. “But by the end of 2014, we’re going to be back. That’s my goal.”

In April, six of the board’s eight members resigned in protest after they were overridden by the borough council on moves to pare costs in the face of what those members said was a financial crisis. The board’s moves included layoffs and reductions in operating hours.

After the council reinstated two laid-off employees, Mayor Pasquale Menna quickly filled the board vacancies. At its first meeting in May, the board added seven hours to a weekly operating schedule that had been pared to 20 hours a week, from a recent peak of 56.

Several part-timers have since been hired, making the Saturday operation possible, McDermott said.

The meeting is at 6:30 p.m. at the library. The reopening measure was on the agenda of the board’s September 18 meeting, which had to be canceled for a lack of a quorum.