Seven employees of a public library in Central Pennsylvania nearly missed getting paid this week because their checks were tied to Silicon Valley Bank thousands of miles away.

Kris LaVanish, director of Milton Public Library, said she was shocked to learn her employees weren’t able to cash their payroll checks.

“I did payroll as I did any other week and everything went as planned and then I learned staff didn’t get paid,” LaVanish said. “I came in on Saturday and I called the bank to see if everything was OK and I had come to find out the payroll software company we use draws money (from) and deposits in SVB.”

Silicon Valley Bank collapsed on Friday leaving investors in the dark and potentially sparking other banking collapses. According to The Associated Press, Federal regulators put the bank under FDIC control on Friday afternoon after panicked depositors rushed to withdraw all their funds within a matter of hours. Over the weekend, Treasury, the Federal Reserve and the FDIC announced that all Silicon Valley Bank clients would be able to access their money, as would depositors from Signature Bank in New York, which similarly failed and would be taken over by state regulators.

LaVanish said she had no choice but to write physical checks to the seven employees, which equaled about $2,000.

Library board President Joe Moralez said he was stunned to learn the news and said the library was fortunate to be able to write checks to employees.

“SVB is a $200 billion dollar catastrophe that has trickled down to affect the payroll of our local small businesses who could not even fund their direct deposits this past Friday like the Milton Public Library,” he said. 

LaVanish said the library had a good fundraising year so they were able to write the checks for now.

LaVanish said she plans to meet with the library's board and to decide on whether the company, Patriot Payroll, of Ohio, will be used moving forward.

“There were three times this year we barely had enough to cover payroll and this could have been a disaster for us,” LaVanish said. “There are a number of problems public libraries face and I need to figure out where to go as we all are still trying to figure this out.

“We need to make sure the employees are paid."

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