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Fargo libraries seeking part-time employees to avoid shutdowns

The three libraries in the Fargo area have had to cut hours and even close a few days because of lack of staff

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Fargo's Main Library in downtown next to City Hall.
Forum file photo
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FARGO — Due to staffing shortages, the Northport Library in north Fargo has had to close on a Saturday and early a few other times in the past six months.

Library Director Tim Dirks, who oversees Fargo's three libraries, said they weren't able to meet the minimum number of staff required to work.

He said a minimum of two workers are needed at the Northport Library at 2714 Broadway, while five are needed at the Main Library at 101 4th St. N. Three employees must be available at the Dr. James Carlson library at 2801 32nd Ave.

Dirks has requested to hire four part-time employees to help ease the situation, and is hoping to have them on board sooner rather than later. The number was decided upon after an "analysis of operations."

The request will be in Mayor Tim Mahoney's budget that he has presented and will be acted upon by the full City Commission in the coming weeks.

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"It would be extremely helpful," Dirks said if the request is approved, adding the library currently has the equivalent of around 44 employees, some of whom are part-time.

He realizes that many operations are seeing employee shortages and it's been no different at the library.

City Commissioner Arlette Preston, who just took over duties in her portfolio of city departments, said she is just beginning to better understand the operations, but thinks adding employees is likely necessary.

She said the pandemic has been "tough" for many city departments as well as for other businesses and operations.

Current hours at the Main Library are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday. It's closed on Sundays through Labor Day.

The hours of the other two libraries are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays.

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