Thursday, February 26, 2009

More on OHS Closure

The Oregon Historical Society has now posted the following notice on its library website:

"Because of declining revenue projections for 2009, the OHS Board of Trustees has directed management to reduce expenditures and lay off staff members to bring the budget into balance. The main causes of revenue decline are:

- A 2009-10 state appropriation that is forecast to be 65% lower ($800,000 per year less) than last year’s
- A probable take-back of $350,000 from the 2009 state appropriation
- The loss of approximately $400,000 in annual endowment earnings-
- A drop in giving to the OHS annual appeal

All programs are affected, and managers are taking a 10% pay reduction as part of the overall reductions. In 2009, there will be no pay increases for staff or management.

The Trustees concentrated most of the staffing reductions in the research library in order to preserve and focus on public access to museum exhibits and educational programs and to continue web-based services, traveling exhibits, and school outreach programs across the state. 'The reduction in expenses will allow us to focus on excellent core programs that serve more than 50,000 Oregonians each year,' said George Vogt, Executive Director.

Public access to the library collections will necessarily be limited after mid-March, and the Society will post information, including hours and condition of access, on the website shortly. The Society will continue to provide access to photographic and film collections and will continue to partner with Oregon Public Broadcasting in the production of Oregon Experience.

We urge everyone to contact his or her state legislators with messages of support for the Oregon Historical Society’s appropriation."