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Measure L Restores Night Hours For The City's Public Libraries

Angela Blakely |
October 15, 2012 | 4:52 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced new extended hours for the city’s public libraries Monday, proving that the voter-approved Measure L is paying off for Angelenos.

Measure L, which voters overwhelmingly approved in March 2011, will gradually increase the percentage of property value the library system receives, from 0.0175 percent to 0.03 percent.

As a result, it has been estimated that an additional $18 million will go towards revitalizing one of the city’s most valued resources.

The city’s public library system was significantly affected by budget cuts back in 2010, when the L.A. City Council approved Villaraigosa’s plan to close the central library and eight other regional libraries on Sundays.

The public library system received another blow in July 2010, when the L.A. City Council approved further budget cuts, which closed all of the city’s 73 libraries on Mondays as well.

By July 2011, funds from Measure L allowed Villaraigosa to re-open all 73 libraries on Mondays.

Measure L, will continue to gradually restore public library hours and services over the next four years.

Now, almost two years after its passage, public library hours have been extended to:

Monday – Thursday                          10am – 8pm

Friday- Saturday                               10am - 5:30pm

Sunday                                              Closed           

Prior to this month, public libraries only stayed open until 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Increased funding to libraries comes at an important time when many Angelenos are finding the library to be a vital resource.

Last month the Immigrant Integration Initiative was launched, which created a “Citizenship Corner” in all 73 library branches giving easy access to immigrants seeking information about obtaining U.S. citizenship.

In a press release Villaraigosa said, “This joint initiative not only expands upon our effort to educate the city’s immigrant community about citizenship, but also establishes our libraries as local citizenship information centers.”

The city’s public library system must also keep up with the high demand for digital downloads and public wi-fi access.

According to L.A. County Supervior Zev Yaroslavsky’s website, the L.A. County Public Library system has seen digital downloads increase by 57 percent.

In addition to the increase in e-book downloads, the county libraries have also seen an increase in wi-fi usage at each branch.

As the benefits of Measure L continue to play out, Angelenos should also see improvement in library services and access to more e-books.

According to L.A. Public Library spokesperson, Peter Persic, Sunday hours will be re-introduced at nine regional branches by 2014.

 

Reach Staff Reporter Angela Blakely here.



 

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