New Year Brings New Hours for Libraries

By Paige Browning

Starting January 1st, Spokane’s libraries will be open more hours than any year since 2006. A city levy passed by voters in February 2013 funds library operations directly for the next fours years.
 
Spokane Public Library’s spokesperson Eva Silverstone says in recent years the business hours for the East Side, Hillyard, and Indian Trail libraries were different each day of the week, and only opened for 22½ hours a week.
 
She says that impacted the number of library visits and book checkouts, In 2004, when all libraries were open 40 hours a week, the Hillyard branch alone had 48,000 more checkouts than in 2012.
 
The city levy brings all branches back to 40 hours a week. It’s great news to Silverstone, who says the community believes in libraries.
 
Silverstone: “People really need their libraries, and they come in for all sorts of things. You can’t apply for a job at Target or Walmart without doing it online… and if you don’t have a computer, you go to the library. And we have classes where we can help you set up an email account, and we have a work source lab where people can get assistance looking for jobs.”
 
Now, all branches are open at least 5 days a week for job seekers, book borrowers, and everyone else.
 
Copyright 2014 Spokane Public Radio
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