Patrons at the San Fernando and other county libraries are getting an extra day to check out books, read or use computers.
After several years of reduced hours of operations because of reduced budgets, county libraries began getting some of those hours back thanks to a $3.6 million increase in the library budget for the coming fiscal year.
“When the recession hit, our property tax revenue was reduced and we had to put many of our city libraries on four-days-a-week. This year we’re getting a partial restoration of the general funds and we’re going back to the hours we had in 2010,” County Librarian Margaret Donnellan Todd told the San Fernando Valley Sun/El Sol.
Beginning Tuesday, Sept. 2, the San Fernando branch library branch is now open six days a week (Monday through Saturday), and hours have changed slightly to accommodate increased use.
“We’re going from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. because people were requesting more morning hours, and because our use levels go down dramatically after 7 p.m.,” noted Donnellan Todd.
“We’re very excited about this because our communities really use our libraries. Having them opened only four days a week was very hard, especially in San Fernando, because it’s a small library, but it’s very busy,” she said.
The San Fernando full-time library personnel will remain at its current level but more part-time hours will be available, Donnellan Todd said.
She noted that libraries have evolved into community centers that provide invaluable tools to their patrons. Individuals visit libraries to search for jobs, homework help, computer literacy classes, online learning tools, early childhood literacy programs, teen services, and other programs.
The restored hours should enable the Library staff an opportunity to provide additional programs and services.
“We’re very focused on early literacy. The neuroscience is showing us that between 0-3 years, it’s really important that parents read to children, sing with children, and we’re seeing a big increase in families with young children coming to our libraries,” Donnellan Todd said.
The County of Los Angeles Public Library system is one of the largest library jurisdictions in the country. With 86 community libraries, three bookmobiles and five resources centers, the system serves a population of 3.4 million extending over 3,000 square miles.
The new services hours for San Fernando Library will be:
Monday: 11:00am – 7:00 pm
Tuesday: 11:00am – 7:00 pm
Wednesday: 11:00am – 7:00 pm
Thursday: 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
Friday: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
For additional information on the County of Los Angeles Public Library system, please visit www.colapublib.org.