UPDATE 5/23: New hours will begin July 5, not July 1.
This July marks the 75th anniversary of the Arlington Public Library, created by residents like you who believed in the value of a strong library system for all the County. It is both a fitting reminder of this proud legacy and of the importance of citizen advocacy that in the FY2012 Budget, the County Board has acted to restore some Library hours, and supplemented the all-important materials budget.
The increase to the materials budget means we can purchase more books, DVDs, magazines and eBooks to meet user demand.
The three hours restored to each branch (except Plaza*) during the Monday-Friday workweek will allow us to bring back some badly needed programs for young children and address the oft-stated need for more evening hours. That’s especially good news for working parents and teens with homework. In addition, Sunday hours at Columbia Pike and Shirlington will be extended to match those of Central Library.
Effective this July 1, the start of Fiscal Year 2012, our new schedule of operations will be:
- Wednesday Mornings – Columbia Pike Branch Library, Shirlington Branch Library and Westover Branch Library will open at 10 a.m. (rather than the current 1 p.m.) and remain open until 9 p.m.
- Thursday Evenings – Aurora Hills Branch Library, Cherrydale Branch Library and Glencarlyn Branch Library will remain open until 9 p.m. (rather than the current 6 p.m.). The addition of three hours at these three locations means that every branch in the system except Plaza will be open late three evenings per workweek.
- Sunday Evenings – In addition, the Columbia Pike Branch Library and Shirlington Branch Library will remain open until 9 p.m. (rather than the current 5 p.m.).
- *Plaza Branch Library and Central Library will continue to operate on their current schedules.
Later this year, the staff and I will host a series of “check-ins” in each branch community to hear from residents about their thoughts on library hours, collections needs, etc. This in-person feedback will inform our recommendations for next year’s budget and help us make modifications if appropriate. Please watch the Library website, Facebook and Twitter for an announcement of these sessions – we always appreciate and value the feedback we receive from the community and look forward to engaging both library users and non-users alike.
The past two budget seasons have been difficult ones for the County and for the Department of Libraries in particular. We are grateful for the support the residents of Arlington have given us by tirelessly attending work sessions and writing both the County Board and the County Manager to express how important a strong library system is to Arlington’s quality of life. Your messages have been heard and we look forward to seeing you and serving you more in the coming months.
Today, April 23, has been declared “National Adopt A Library Day” because libraries “are an essential part of the communities and the national system of education in the United States.”
May the celebrations never end!