New library hours to remain in place for now

Published 7:06 am Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Though new hours haven’t been well received by all staff, the library director said they haven’t affected circulation and they will remain in place for the time being.

On Monday, the Austin Public Library Board voted to keep with the new hours — which were adopted in May — at least through the end of the year.

The changes in May have meant the library is open four hours less per week — it opens at 10 a.m. instead of 9 a.m. Monday through Thursday.

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Library director Ann Hokanson said full-time staff haven’t been happy coming in an hour later the past six months because it has meant that they’ve had to work later into the evening to accrue 40-hour weeks.

But circulation has not been affected by the reduced hours, the director said. In fact, this past October had a 3 percent higher circulation than October 2008.

The board could consider changes to opening and closing times, but the total amount of hours the library is open is likely to remain the same.

That’s because the four hours were cut because of budgetary concerns and Hokanson said now would not be a good time to add the cost of staying open more.