Recent layoffs have meant that as of February 28, 2011, the total number of hours that the New Haven main library branch opens have been reduced from 185 hours per month to 148. The branches have taken the brunt of the reductions, with monthly hours reduced from 136 to 96 including elimination of Saturday hours.
The closing of the libraries is a crucial issue of public space and civic vitality in New Haven. Libraries should be active community hubs where neighbors can meet and cement relationships, not abandoned buildings.
Public Libraries are educational agencies that provide materials and services to all members in the community from preschoolers to seniors. The library is accessible to students for study and research when public schools are not open. The library provides the only computer access some public school students have to complete their homework assignments.
Public Libraries help build a strong economy. Our unemployment rate has been at least 12%, and likely to be above 50% among youth in some city neighborhoods. Many employers have transitioned to online employment applications. Public Libraries provide the only access some people have to computer technology and job searches.
Please "vote" here if you believe that the City of New Haven should immediately restore all of the eliminated library hours, either through re-hiring of laid off employees or through other measures.
Information, updates and additional ways to advocate for this issue will be posted here and you will receive them if you request to be notified of updates.
(I have posted this at the request of an elderly New Haven resident who no longer has access to the internet, due to closing of library hours on Saturday in her neighborhood)