Kander still planning State Library staff cuts

Freshman Secretary of State Jason Kander said Friday he’s still planning to cut the State Library’s staff.

Kander said a month ago the money paid to 10 State Library employees would be used better if provided directly to local libraries around the state.

“We’ve had a great, collaborative process, of sitting down with my Secretary’s Council on Library Development, to talk about how best to utilize these savings, and that’s what we’re doing now,” he told the News Tribune Friday afternoon.

“At the end of the day, I think that this is absolutely the best thing for Missourians, to make sure that we are getting more money out to local libraries, instead of keeping it here in Jefferson City.”

Local librarians around Missouri, through the Missouri Library Association and individually, complained that Kander made the decision without consulting them — and they urged him to meet with them about his office restructuring plans.

“I’ve had a great dialog with the Library Development Council and the other stakeholder groups,” he said Friday. “For us, we are working very hard — and from the beginning, it was our plan to work very hard, to collaborate on how best to utilize these savings, that are created by these efficiencies that need to be made.”

The layoffs are planned in two State Library divisions, but won’t affect either the Wolfner Talking Book and Braille Library or the State Archives.

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