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Monday, October 26, 2009

Library Hours in Danger

Do you use our public libraries? I do. I think our libraries are one of Seattle's greatest gifts to its citizens. We taxed ourselves to renovate them and nearly every neighborhood can see the benefits. The City is proposing a 23% reduction in hours.

The City Council is having a public hearing today on the budget. I don't say go down there (unless you are so moved) but please take a minute to write to our City Council members and tell them the benefits to your family as well as to others in these hard times.

Here's info from an article in the Times this morning:

"Under the proposal, 21 out of 27 branches in the city would be closed Fridays (when all branches are now open) and Sundays (right now, 16 out of 27 branches are open).

On Wednesdays and Thursdays, these 21 branches would open an hour later (11 a.m.) and close 2 hours earlier — 6 p.m. instead of 8 p.m. On Saturdays, they would open an hour later, at 11 a.m., closing at 6 p.m. (the way they do now).

To attempt to compensate, the system will keep six branches — Central Library, Ballard, Douglass Truth, Lake City, Rainier Beach and Southwest — open on Fridays and Sundays, and slightly increase their hours on other days."

tom.rasmus​sen@seattle​.gov
richard.mc​iver@seattl​e.gov
bruce.harr​ell@seattle​.gov
jean.godde​n@seattle.g​ov
jan.drago@​seattle.gov
sally.clar​k@seattle.g​ov
tim.burges​s@seattle.g​ov
richard.co​nlin@seattl​e.gov

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I remember the days before the "Libraries for All" initiative when libraries had a schedule similar to what is proposed. The Ballard branch was one open more hours than most back then ... and the children's section was decimated with overuse, empty-looking shelves with virtually no selection for browsing. The library was also very crowded anytime the other branches weren't open, and this was before the days of people needing internet access at the library. I really think ALL the branches need to have evening and weekend hours consistently.

Josh Hayes said...

I'm sure this was an oversight, but of course Nick Licata is also on the Council. His email is nick.licata@seattle.gov. He's my local guy, so I'm certainly going to write him about this preposterous plan.

Our kids NEED library access to do their school work!

Unknown said...

There are already people lined up when the NE branch opens, too late in the day.

Jennifer said...

Thank you so much Seattle Public Schools Blog for your blog about the huge proposed hours change to 21 neighborhood branch libraries. The Friends of The Seattle Public Library is actively advocating against these hours changes. Here are some action items for your readers:
Sign the Facebook petition - it goes down tomorrow http://apps.facebook.com/causes/petitions/282?m=4cb5d5c7&recruiter_id=31126842&prs=742&ref=mf
For neighbors who don't have facebook we're still running another challenge that will be active through the first week of November. We need 500 emails to council in their budget@seattle.gov box. Right now we have 107. If you could support that goal we'd appreciate it. The email can be short: subject line-restore branch library hours. text-My name is ____. I use the ____ library. Please restore branch library hours.

Thank You,
Jennifer Johnson-Fong
Vice President, Friends of SPL
Blog: http://friendsofspl.wordpress.com
Web: http://www.friendsofspl.org
Facebook: http://www.causes.com/friendsoftheseattlepubliclibrary

Melissa Westbrook said...

It was Josh; thanks for catching that. I was on my way out the door and just missed that.