Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Keep Libraries Open Sundays, When It's Convenient to Public

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Keep Libraries Open Sundays, When It's Convenient to Public

Article excerpt

Byline: PHIL FRETZ

Maybe we misunderstood.

When the mayor and many City Council members promised, as candidates, to run the city like a business, we assumed they would enact efficiencies or pare back the scope of government, as needed, to live within a budget.

We were, uh, naive - as the recent budget battle proved.

So, maybe they meant they would provide services as well as the private sector does?

OK. Let's look at that.

No matter where you are, just about, a library is nearby. The buildings are clean; the staffers, friendly and helpful.

And, using the interlibrary loan program, you'll find plenty of good books and other materials.

So far, so good.

But look at the hours.

Most people are off work Saturdays and Sundays. OK, let me rephrase that. More people are off those two days than other days of the week.

Yet, 16 of the 21 libraries are closed every Sunday. Four of the other five are closed Sundays in the summer. And three are always closed both Saturdays and Sundays.

This is running the libraries like a private business? Closing the doors when it's most convenient for people to go there?

I don't think so.

DOWNTOWN LIBRARY

The downtown library is the only one always open Sundays.

But it closes at 6 p.m., on Fridays - two hours earlier than on other week nights.

That's the one week night it should stay open. People have more time to browse on Friday evenings because, in most cases, they don't have to rush home and get ready for work the next day.

And it's open only from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays. Why?

Maybe it's because people go to church on Sunday mornings? Not people who don't go to church. Not those who embrace a faith other than Christianity.

Even many Christians don't go to church on Sundays. Adventists don't. Catholics have the option to go on Saturdays. …

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