DC Public Library to Change Hours, Services

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DC Public Library to Change Hours, Services

Library Faces $4.8 Million Budget Reduction

As a result of DC Public Library’s FY 2010 budget, the library plans to change hours and some services starting October 5, the beginning of the District’s 2010 fiscal year.

“We appreciate the Mayor’s and City Council’s commitment to libraries,” said DC Public Library’s Chief Librarian Ginnie Cooper.  “We know these tough economic times have required them to make difficult budget decisions.”

The District’s pending FY2010 budget reduces the library’s budget by nearly 11% or $4.8 million from the FY2009 budget. Additionally, the library will absorb increases in costs such as rent, utilities and phone.  Though the library has worked to minimize the impact, the reductions will affect how library services are provided to D.C. residents.

“Even with the changes,” Cooper said “we are committed to three important things: keeping the library open for as many hours as possible; providing the books, technology and other library materials people expect; and opening six new libraries and celebrating this improvement in service throughout the District.”  
Library hours will change at all library locations.  Library service will continue to be available seven days a week.

Neighborhood libraries will no longer be open on Sundays. Instead, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, which is currently closed on Sundays from Memorial Day to Labor Day, will be open year-round on Sundays. In addition, this library, currently open from 9:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays, will open from noon – 9 p.m. on those days.  All public libraries will be closed on all Monday holidays.  

Cooper expects that volunteers will make a huge difference. “We have a growing number of volunteers who do wonderful work at the library, and we always need and welcome more,” said Cooper.  “Volunteers can help augment the work of staff by helping to do things like shelve books, teach computer classes, or conduct workshops.”

Other services are affected by the library’s budget reduction.  The library’s bookmobile, which travels to a small number of schools, will not be used next fiscal year.  However, library staff will continue to visit schools to provide literacy support to students.

A 24-hour fire and security monitoring system was installed at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, allowing security staff to be redirected to neighborhood libraries. Also, later in October, the parking garage will no longer be available to the general public.

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