RESTORING THE HOURS OF HOUSTON LIBRARIES!

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Mayor Annise Parker today announced the extension of service hours at Houston Public Library (HPL) locations throughout the city.  The extended hours restores Saturday service to 14 neighborhood libraries, bringing the total number of libraries open on Saturdays to 41. In addition, hours are being restored to the Central Library, returning it to a seven day a week schedule. 

“As Houston struggled with the deep, nationwide recession, many necessary but painful cuts were made to city programs and personnel,” said Mayor Parker.  “Dr. Lawson and her team have done a great job of balancing the reductions we were forced to make with the needs of our customers.  We have emerged from those tough times and are now able to celebrate another major milestone in our recovery.  Not only are we restoring public services, we are adding staff, which means jobs for our community.”

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“The most frequent request we receive from Houston Public Library customers is to restore library hours on the weekends so more families can access their neighborhood library,” said HPL Director Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson. “The very best way we can serve the citizens of Houston is to provide access to services when they most need us. We are very excited about the restoration of hours at 14 neighborhood libraries, offering Saturday service at those locations for the first time in three years and Sunday hours at the Central Library. We are working to finalize the new schedules and will announce them soon.”

The restored service hours are made possible by $3.1 million added to the HPL budget. A portion of the additional funding is expected in the current budget year from a General Appropriation request in April 2013, and full funding will be included in the HPL FY14 budget. These funds will be allocated to the hiring of 109 new staff members at HPL, making the restored service hours possible. The first wave of postings for these positions were added to the City of Houston website today. The restoration of service hours will take place in phases, as new staff is hired and trained, beginning April 1, 2013.

Locations that will have restored Saturday hours are:

Carnegie Neighborhood Library

HPL Express Southwest

Lakewood Neighborhood Library

Looscan Neighborhood Library

Mancuso Neighborhood Library

Moody Neighborhood Library

Morris Frank Library, a HPL Express Location

Pleasantville Neighborhood Library

Ring Neighborhood Library

Robinson-Westchase Neighborhood Library

Shepard-Acres Homes Neighborhood Library

Smith Neighborhood Library

Stanaker Neighborhood Library

Stimley-Blue Ridge Neighborhood Library