DC Public Library Decides to Reduce Hours

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DC Public Library Decides to Reduce Hours

Economic downturn limits staffing

Beginning March 2, the D.C. Public Library will operate with reduced service hours to accommodate the city’s lower-than-expected revenue projections.

“The city’s $250 million projected loss in tax-revenue this fiscal year means that the library is likely not to receive the funding it anticipated,” said Ginnie Cooper, chief librarian for the D.C. Public Library.   

The library has been working to maintain its current operating schedule since October 2008. So far this fiscal year, the library has spent nearly $280,000 in overtime costs. In addition, some locations have been closed partially or completely for lack of staff.   

Library staff are working double and triple shifts as the library’s use has increased.

“We know how important library is to jobs seekers and others in this economy,” added Cooper. “We're changing our schedule to ensure that library users are served well when we are open.” 

Cooper notes that the reduction in hours is designed to have the least impact on the public.
“Libraries are vital, especially in the current economic downturn,” said Cooper. “The new hours will keep libraries open seven days a week during times that allow our programs and activities to continue.”

While Cooper hopes that additional reductions will not be necessary, the economic climate may require future reductions.

The new hours are (changes in bold):

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library–open 7 fewer hours per week
Mon. and Tues., 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m.
Wed. and Thurs., 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (currently open until 9 p.m.)
Fri. and Sat., 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Sun., 1 p.m.-5 p.m. (Labor Day–Memorial Day)

Interim and Neighborhood libraries–each open 7 fewer hours per week
On the two evening weekdays the library is open they will now open from 1 p.m.  - 9 p.m. (currently open Mon. and Wed., or Tues. and Thurs. 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m.)
On the other three weekdays and Sat., 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Sun., 1 p.m.-5 p.m. (year-round)

Kiosk libraries–each open 8 fewer hours per week
Open Tues, Wed, Thurs., 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.  
Closed on either Mon. or Fri. (currently open weekdays from 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.)