Cutting library hours is not the way to really make a city a great place.
Chicago and Orlando are the latest cities making cuts to the library hours. Beginning in January, in Chicago all branches will see a reduction in weekday hours except the main and regional libraries. This is seen as a cost cutting measure. Orlando is facing the same situation. As a way to save money, they are dropping certain services and reducing the library hours.
What’s the impact? Most people are happy when library hours are increased but when they are reduced, what happens? One less hour of time to get homework done or find information (because face it, not everything is on the internet and sometimes you need books for homework). Also, people who work and want to use the library will have less time to get to the library in order to borrow and check out books.
Tax dollars support many programs. Most people who pay taxes generally do not complain about money being spent on libraries. Yet, this is often an area that is cut first. Not everyone uses the public school system or public transportation, yet the public library has an appeal that cuts across political parties and religions. Citizens should demand that their legislators do more to sustain their public libraries. Libraries are safe place for people to read, work and enjoy cultural and community programs. When we lose library hours, we begin a slippery slope to a decline in public libraries completely.