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Libraries Seek Expanded Hours in Latest Budget

Adding four more hours or operation to 10 libraries in the county would help create a more consistent, understandable schedule for library patrons, a library official said.

Local library leaders know that their hours are sometimes confusing, and hope to do something about that with the upcoming county budget.

"How many of you here know the hours of your local library?" asked Skip Auld, the executive director of the Anne Arundel County Public Library System.

About a handful in a crowd of 50 raised their hands at a meeting at Broadneck Library on Thursday night. That didn't come as a surprise to Auld. Some libraries open at 1 p.m. on certain days, while others open at 9 a.m. on the same days.

Auld plans to keep the doors open at 10 libraries an additional four hours. The new schedule would look like this:

  • 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.—Monday through Thursday
  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.—Friday through Saturday

The expanded hours were a part of the library system's 2014 budget, which Auld laid out in an open forum on Thursday in Broadneck. The new hours would help create a more consistent, understandable schedule for library patrons, he said.

"We want to have the doors open so you can use the libraries as often as possible," Auld said.

The projected cost of keeping the doors open that much longer is $735,900, which would cover the cost of additional hiring.

Libraries that would be included in this new plan are: Broadneck, Brooklyn Park, Edgewater, Riveria Beach, Maryland City, Eastport-Annapolis, Linthicum, Mountain Road, Provinces and South County.

Auld told the meeting's attendees that if they wanted to see these kinds of improvements at libraries, they should advocate for the proposed budget to new County Executive Laura Neuman and to Anne Arundel County Councilmen during their upcoming budget public hearings in May.

See also: New Annapolis Library Would Triple Current Size

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