EXPANDED LIBRARY HOURS
The Fort Worth Public Library system is expanding its hours, as presented to the City Council in an informal report during Tuesday’s work session.
The expansion in hours is the first since a small adjustment in fiscal year 2014. Dating back to fiscal year 2009, the library system reduced its public service hours by 26 percent at the Central Library, 38 percent at the East and Southwest Regionals, and by 5 percent at the remaining branches. This was done to compensate for a budget reduction.
The current hours, which are not consistent across branches, have been found to be confusing by patrons. Often, the hours limit opportunities for citizens to visit, contributing to the library’s low use numbers. Half of the branches are closed on Thursdays, the other half on Fridays, and open times change daily from location to location.
The new hours are:
*Central and Regionals – Monday, noon-8 p.m.; Tuesday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, noon-6 p.m.
*Branches – Same, but closed on Sunday.
*Butler Outreach and Cavile Outreach – Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Closed Sunday and Monday.
The addition of authorized positions since FY09 gives the library the ability to expand hours with no additional staff and within the authorized budget. The new Hours will officially begin on Saturday April 6, with a soft launch on Saturday March 30, coinciding with National Library Week, whose 2019 theme is Libraries=Strong Communities.
“Expanding hours is about aligning to the city’s focus on equity. Providing more access for working families and individuals is the only way we will be able to accomplish anything in our new strategic plan,” Fort Worth Library Director Manya Shorr said. “The choices we make in running the library should always align to what our community needs and wants.”
The expanded hours provide an additional 20 hours a week for patrons to visit regional libraries, 14 more hours a week at local branches, and an additional 8 hours at the central library downtown.
“We’ve found a way with our authorized budget to utilize our staff and facilities more effectively, and we are going to do it in order to provide more access to our services and programs.”
Mayor Betsy Price said, “This goes a long way in our literacy efforts.”
The Butler and Cavile satellite locations are used primarily by the residents of Butler and Cavile housing and operate with limited staff. With the closing of Butler occurring sometime in the near future and the redevelopment plans for Cavile ongoing, no changes are being made in hours at those locations.
In addition, the temporary location at Cambridge Court in Las Vegas Trail will have
separate hours that closely mirror the hours at the Boys & Girls Club site that’s connected to the branch.