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Budget Thu Jan 05 2012

Chicago Public Library Branches to Close on Mondays

The Chicago Public Library (CPL) announced on Wednesday that as a result of recent budget cuts neighborhood branches will no longer be open on Mondays. The news came from a post on the CPL Facebook page.

Ruth Lednicer, CPL Director of Marketing and Press, explained during a phone interview that the decision to have the neighborhood branches closed on Mondays allows for five full-days for the neighborhood branches. As a result, hours will not be reduced on Friday.

"Each day at a branch is eight hours," Lednicer said. "We stagger it so you still have morning hours and evening hours."

According to Lednicer, the decision allows the library system to function with the reduced number of staff that resulted from the budget cuts. For the 2012 fiscal year the City slashed $6.7 million from the CPL's budget, which resulted in 181 layoffs.

The change will not affect the Harold Washington Library Center, the Sulzer Regional Library and the Woodson Regional Library.

The City is currently in negotiations with the union that represents the librarians, AFSCME, in order to fully implement changes resulting from the budget cuts.

The Mayor's Press Office did not return requests for a comment on the negotiations.

Students and parents expressed displeasure over the decision in the comments on the CPL's Facebook page, which currently has 26 comments on the announcement. A common comment was that people would no longer be able to study and do homework at branch locations on Mondays.

Comments from librarians on the CPL's Facebook page as well as on a previous post at Gapers Block said that Mondays tend to be the busiest day for branches.


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