My heart sank when I saw the headline: “Gwinnett libraries cut hours.”
I rely on a different library system for the stack of books next to my bed, but it’s always sad to see fun stuff going away. Like every system, they’re part of the Bad Economy=Busy Library trend. Library program usage is up 30 percent there since last year, spokeswoman Michelle Long said, and as June ended, the system broke its Summer Reading Program record with 33,000 kids and teens participating.
“The reason being that programs are free,” Long said. (And let’s not forget: air conditioned.)
Unfortunately, that bad economy also means it’s hard to keep funding levels up. Long says they’ve been “very, very, very lucky,” in the past, but this time, a proposed tax increase failed and the county had to make cuts. As of Aug. 9, the 14-branch system will close Sundays and Monday and the rest of the week at 7 p.m. instead of 9 p.m.
So what’s going away?
And what kind of library fun is likely to stay?
So far, programs like “Let’s Talk,” and the Summer Reading Program are expected to continue. Regular branch storytimes and system-wide events are safe. Adult and teen programming will be cut back, but most children’s programming will stay.
What do you say, folks? How often do you use the library, and what do you use it for? Any favorites?