All branches of the Enoch Pratt Free Library will extend hours and remain open six days a week, CEO Heidi Daniel announced today. And rather than open on a staggered schedule, libraries across the city will all open at 10 a.m.
The central branch will be open seven days a week, with Sunday hours from 1-5 p.m. The increase comes after a five-year pledge of $3 million annually from the state and $750,000 annually from the city.
In her remarks, Daniel said the longer hours mean more than greater access to books.
“It means increased access to early-learning and childcare-giver programs, increased chances to connect with a social worker and a lawyer, increased access to job assistance and computer classes, to a place to do work, to learn, to see the possibilities that exist, and to create your future,” she said.
As an example, the Clifton branch will be open 49 hours a week on average, from 17.5 hours a week.
Mayor Catherine Pugh touted the role libraries play as a safe haven in communities.
“The library has always been a safe place for people to come, a welcoming place for neighborhoods and communities,” she said. “And so as we extend these hours, we’re extending ourselves to our communities, to our neighborhoods, to individuals who are in need.”
See a full schedule here.