"I still think it was unfair," Sweigard said.
Debbie Marchal, another employee who refused to sign a new contract, said that "it was a sad time when I had to go."
"My supervisor didn't want to see me go," Marchal said. "It was not because of the quality of my work that I lost my job."
Marchal emphasizes the fact that she and Sweigard did not quit, but were terminated.
"We were both fired because we chose to stand our ground," she said.
Kaylene Schember, also a former employee, said she left just before everybody was supposed to sign a contract.
"I knew it was coming, and I chose to leave," she said.
Schember was a circulation manager, and she said she was asked to make a new schedule for her 11 employees.
"I didn't feel right to work on Sundays or to schedule other people to work on Sundays," she said.
Schember said that while she enjoyed her work thoroughly, one of the reasons she applied for a job six and a half years ago was that she didn't have to work on Sundays.
"It's a personal religious conviction," she said.
A letter she wrote to the administration explaining her position did not bring the results she was hoping for.
"No further comments as far as reaction to my letter," she said.
Marchal said she's "hurt, angry and disappointed." Sweigard, who shares her former co-worker's feelings, said she feels even worse for people who had to go against their beliefs in order to keep their jobs.
"I know for a fact that some of them feel the same way, but they were unable to do what we did," she said, referring to the fact that she did not have to keep her job to feed her family like many other people. "Other people had no choice, and I feel bad about them."
Sweigard said that the administration's approach was a form of religious discrimination.
"It was unnecessary, too," she said. "There were other ways to go, but they didn't bother to check."
Sweigard said that it was possible to hire people who would be willing to work on Sundays, or just to use the existing library employees who didn't have problems with that.
Lawrence said that signing a contract which obligated every employee to work on Sunday once a month was a necessary move.
"Nobody, including me, is anxious to work on Sundays," she said.
She said there were no openings at the time to hire new people to work on Sundays, and she would not have enough volunteers within her staff to keep the operation running smoothly.
"We had no choice," she said.
Lawrence said that libraries in Fayette, Scott, Clark and Mercer counties are also open on Sundays.
She said that in one month, more than a thousand patrons took advantage of additional hours on Sunday, and it would be unfair to deny them this extra convenience.
"They're busy during the week, and on Saturday, by the time you're done with your kids' activities, everything is closed," she said. "It's only three and a half hours in the afternoon, but it gives them enough time to check out books and videos, use the computers and do whatever they need to do."
Sara King, adult services librarian, said that she doesn't mind working Sundays.
"Last Sunday, there were very many people here, and all computers were busy," she said. "It becomes a popular service, it feels good to be able to provide it."
Faith Allen Ralph, assistant reference services librarian, said that it's so busy on Sunday, that the day is over before you know it.
"It makes the time fly," she said.
Keith Vitai, circulation desk clerk at the library, said that he's glad it's only a few hours on Sunday, and not the whole day.
"I'm thankful it's only half a day, and I can still go to church," he said.
The library will continue being open every Sunday from 1:30 to 5 p.m. For more information, call 885-3523.|10/6/05|***