July 10, 2012
Contact Robin Diener
Expanded Library Hours Put Forward by Jack Evans
Ward Two Councilmember Jack Evans introduced legislation today, to restore library hours to the full schedule residents have advocated for, and which the FY2013 budget failed to provide. The bill calls for 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM hours Monday through Thursday, 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM on Friday and Saturday, and noon to 5:00 PM on Sunday.
According to a press release from his office, Evans said “I hear from residents around the District on a regular basis about our inadequate library hours and this bill is the first step in fixing the problem. I am confident that out of our $10 billion budget, we can find $10 million to make this a reality.”
“These hours are needed to realize the return on investment of the District’s $180 million library transformation over the last five years,” said Robin Diener of the DC Library Renaissance Project, an advocacy group that has lobbied extensively for the restoration of hours. “They bring DC in line with the best library systems around the country, such as Seattle’s, which also invested heavily in rebuilding its library system in recent years.”
Diener commended Evans for his responsiveness to library users, noting that Ward Two has three new libraries – Georgetown, Northwest One, and Shaw. Plans for the future of the city’s central library, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, also located in Ward Two, are currently being studied by an outside consultant.
Since the legislation was introduced during the final DC Council session before summer recess, it’s not clear if the funding for hours could be legislated in time for the start of FY2013 (on October 1, 2012), but Evans’ spokesperson Andrew Huff indicated by email that Evans had been in discussion with DCPL’s chief librarian about hiring timeline should the hours be approved. Also unclear is how the legislation would affect the Council’s funding “wishlist,” which included Sunday hours for libraries citywide, subject to availability of additional revenue to be identified by the District’s Chief Financial Officer in a quarterly report that is anticipated shortly.
Sent from Robin Diener
DC Library Renaissance Project
1530 P Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005