A Massachusetts community is worried its library might end up without librarians amid steep budget cuts.
Before the doors could even reopen at the Woburn Public Library, staff learned they might not be returning to work.
"It's been an emotional month for all of us," said Dorrie Karlin.
Karlin was among 17 workers notified that their jobs might be cut.
"If anyone has been to the library, it's everyone you would have seen at a desk," Karlin said. "If you've been to a program, it's the people who'd be running those programs."
Woburn's mayor and city attorney did not respond to requests for comment from NBC10 Boston, but the city sent a written offer proposing a 6-month layoff or a 60-day furlough to 17 of the library's 25 staff members.
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The proposal offered no guarantees that they will return to work.
"The mayor believes there isn't enough work to be done in the library," said Tracy Bredeen, who has worked there for more than a decade.
Bredeen is now working with union leaders to come up with an alternative solution to keep staff in place.
"There is plenty of work to be done in the library, and there's plenty of services that the library should be providing to the community that other communities are providing," she said.
In Woburn, support for library staff has grown into an online petition that now has thousands of signatures.
"I really hope the city listens to the community and recognizes what we can be doing to foster those connections that people have been missing so much for the last few months," Karlin said.