For Immediate Release — Washington, DC
A Rally will take place at the MLK Library on Sunday October 2, at 12:30 PM, to protest the elimination of Sunday hours at the central library – the only District library open on Sundays.
Councilmember Tommy Wells will speak at 1 PM. Wells was recently designated Chair of the DC Council Committee on Libraries, Parks, Recreation and Planning.
At a breakfast with DC City Council today, Mayor Vincent Gray remarked that “everyone has to sustain cuts.” Wells raised questions, however, when $700,000 for the Washington Economic Partnership came under discussion. The Economic Partnership is a nonprofit organization that “promotes business opportunity, attraction, and retention,” according to the organization’s mission statement.
Library officials have said it would require only $312,000 to maintain Sunday hours at MLK for all of FY2012.
Ironically, at their Board meeting last Wednesday, Library Trustees announced a $120,000 expenditure to hire the Urban Land Institute to make recommendations about the future of the MLK Library. The city has long been interested in selling the Mies van der Rohe designed building, now landmarked.
MLK has been the only library open on Sunday in the entire District system. In 2009, then-Mayor Adrian Fenty cut Sunday hours at all 24 branch libraries, but officials promised to keep MLK open to for use by library patrons from across the city. The central library is served by all 5 Metro lines and numerous bus routes.
Sunday is the busiest day per hour open and is considered the most important day for homework help.
The Rally is being organized by the Library Renaissance Project.