Advocates say new library plan is fair

    Budget cuts hit the library system hard, prompting the Mayor to call for the closure of some branches – a proposal he eventually reversed course on.

    Checking out books at the library might be a little more difficult in a few months. At a Council Council budget hearing yesterday, the Free Library Director said neighborhood branches are set to only open five days a week. Budget cuts hit the library system hard, prompting the Mayor to call for the closure of some branches – a proposal he eventually reversed course on. The library’s new money-saving plan has some library advocates applauding. 

    Listen:
    [audio: 090506lflibrary.mp3]

    Amy Dougherty is director of the Friends of the Free Library of Philadelphia, a group that led the fight against plans to shutter library branches. She says as opposed to past attempts to close some branches completely, the new plan to reduce the number of days at all branches instead is more fair to all Philadelphians.

    Dougherty: Basically it’s the best option. We live in the real world. There’s a huge financial crisis. The bottom line is 5 days a week across the board is not terrible. We would love for libraries to be open 7 days a week it’s not possible right now.

    Dougherty says by keeping all branches open, when the economy rebounds the city will be in a better position to expand the branch schedule.

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