I have a concern regarding the new library in Evans. I have heard that when it opens in March, the weekday hours will be cut. The current Gibbs Library is now open until 8 p.m. three nights a week (Monday, Tuesday and Thursday), and closes at 5 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday. It seems plans for the new library will be to have it closing at 5 p.m. on Thursday evenings as well, thus having it open evenings only two nights a week (Monday and Tuesday).
I think decreasing the evening weekday hours is to make up for the fact that they are planning to have the new library open for several hours on Sunday afternoons, which Gibbs currently does not do.
The shortening of weekday hours really concerns me. Many people work, and the 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. hours are prohibitive to their using the library. Currently, on the days that Gibbs closes at 5 p.m. there are often many people in the library at closing time who are forced to leave. Also, often there are many people trying to get into the library at closing time who are not accommodated. The new library hours will have the library open only seven hours a day for most of the week, and even shorter hours on the weekends.
Why would you build a $12 million dollar library and not use it to the fullest extent possible? I know it costs more money to operate the library more hours, but shouldn't that be part of the planning? Maybe the library could open later some weekday mornings (like noon?) to extend the hours into the evening?
I tried calling the county commissioners to express my concerns, but to no avail as my phone calls have never been returned. I'm not sure many of the residents of the county are aware of the changes in the library hours, and I think they should know and have some input.
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