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Library expanded hours schedule begins April 25

March 28, 2011
Special to the Town Crier
The Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County will begin a schedule of expanded library hours on April 25. During the November levy campaign, the one question the library staff heard most often was, “If the levy passes, will libraries be open more hours?” The library’s answer was, “Yes.” In keeping with that promise, the library has a new schedule which increases hours of service by 17.5 percent.

“We are pleased to be able to expand hours of service. We know that having our libraries open and accessible is so important to our patrons and our community,” says Carlton Sears, library director. As part of preparing for this expansion of hours, we began adding and training staff and this is still in progress.”

The process of arriving at a schedule of hours included making sure the library had the staff in place to cover additional hours. During the months when the library was losing state funds at an alarming rate, hours were cut on two occasions, May and September of 2009. Additionally, 30 staff members were lost due to budget cuts. This left the library system short-staffed for an expansion of hours.

When hours were cut, Youngstown's Main Library lost two nights per week and many branches lost a full day of service. Main’s evenings will be restored, as will the full days lost at major locations. For example, Poland, Newport and Sebring libraries will regain Monday hours; Austintown, Boardman, Brownlee Woods, Campbell, Canfield, and Struthers regain Friday hours; East and Springfield regain Thursdays; and West regains Wednesdays. Hours will be expanded by 17.5 percent, with 109 hours of service being added weekly.  This will bring the total number of hours libraries are open system-wide to 787.

Sunday hours are not changed in this version, as they run between September and May. Sunday hours will be reviewed for the coming fall schedule. Poland Library remains open on Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. until Memorial Day.

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