Budget Cuts Affect Franklin Library

Branch now closed to the public in early hours and on Friday morning.

patrons now have less time to curl up with a good book or surf the internet. Beginning Oct. 8, open hours at the branch were reduced from 60 per week to 42, due to budget cuts in the Sacramento Public Library system.

The cuts hit all 28 branches, but were more drastic at the Franklin branch, which had enjoyed longer hours due to a joint operating agreement with the .

District staff will continue to serve high school and middle school students at the library, located on the campus, during school hours of 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. each weekday. But members of the public will only be allowed in after county librarians show up for duty—at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 1:00 p.m. on Friday.

Sacramento Public Library spokesperson Brenda Haggard said the changes bring hours at the Franklin library in line with those at other branches.

"We just cannot continue bearing the costs of that increased level of service," she said.

Franklin is one of the most heavily-used branches in the library system, with close to 60,000 items checked out so far this year. The on Elk Grove Blvd, also a popular branch, has lost two hours per week, closing now at 6:00 p.m. Thursdays instead of 8:00.

Public libraries face hard times nationwide. The recession has forced budget cuts in many areas at the same time as it has increased demand for free library services like internet access, job counseling and children's storytime.

"We're busier than ever in spite of receiving really significant funding reductions," said Haggard.

To compensate, local libraries plan to start imposing fees for things like taking classes and booking meeting rooms. A new self-publishing center, I Street Press, will open soon at the Central Library in Sacramento, said Haggard. There, aspiring authors can pay to take writing classes from a professional and print their own books on site.

"We are investigating some alternative revenue-generating methods," said Haggard. "It's new territory, and we're moving forward pretty gingerly to make sure we don't obstruct access to what is supposed to be a free service in the state of California."

Here are the new schedules for Elk Grove's two libraries:

Closed Sunday and Monday

Tuesday 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Wednesday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Friday 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Closed Sunday and Monday

Tuesday 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Wednesday 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Friday 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


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