Two years ago, the Phoenix library system was experiencing severe budget cuts, along with everyone else, and they reduced their hours so much that you could barely find an open library.
|Burton Barr Central Library, very retro-looking but built in the 90s. photo source|
|waiting for the doors to open, source|
Anyway, my little snippet of good news appeared last week, in a small article on an inside page of the paper. The libraries are expanding their hours again! Only a few of them, and only by six hours. Still, it’s extremely good news. The main library will open its doors earlier in the morning, while others will stay open later.
Here’s a bit of the article:
Bookworms and Internet users have residents and a faith-based organization to thank for the longer hours. Earlier this year, Valley Interfaith Project and several residents who support the libraries told the Phoenix City Council they were disappointed to see the city's budget proposal lacked additional funds to restore after-school programs and lengthen hours for swimming pools and libraries.
The city had reduced those services during the recession.
In response to the residents and advocates, city officials amended their proposed budget to spend $6 million more on public services, including $500,000 to extend hours for some of the libraries. The City Council supported the increase.
So it turns out that citizens actually can do something to improve their community! Maybe I should stop sitting in my room and whining. Maybe I should go talk to the City Council next time I have an issue.