Staff issues force Columbus libraries to close on Sundays

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Columbus Metropolitan Library will close its 23 locations on Sundays for at least the next two months due to staff shortages linked to the coronavirus pandemic, library officials said this week.

What would you like to know

  • The Columbus Metropolitan Library will close its 23 locations on Sunday, from November 14 to January 9, 2022 at least.
  • Closures are due to lack of staff
  • CML currently has nearly 160 vacant positions

The closures on Sundays are effective from November 14 to January 9, 2022 at least.

“Fully staffed, CML employs approximately 870 full-time and part-time staff. The current number of CML staff is 711, which means there are almost 160 vacant positions, increasing the number of staff members. current staff capacity, “library spokesman Ben Zenitsky said in a press release.

The system laid off more than 600 workers last year following stay-at-home orders that shut down businesses across the state.

The library will close its downtown facilities and 23 neighborhood and suburban branches on Sunday starting at least next week until the first week of January, when officials assess the employment situation.

Columbus isn’t alone in facing staffing issues, said Michelle Francis, executive director of the Ohio Library Council.

The council’s in-house job posting department has an average of 100 library jobs open statewide each day, up from 30 before the pandemic, and the overall need is likely much higher, Francis said.

All employers find it difficult to hire workers, “and we are no different,” she said.

Zenitsky said CML executives, as well as its board of directors, will reassess staff levels in the weeks and months to come to determine whether to continue shutting down its sites on Sunday beyond January 9.

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