Sunday Library Hours: D.C. Finds Money To Prevent Cuts

WASHINGTON -- Although the District of Columbia's public library system was preparing to eliminate Sunday hours at the Martin Luther King Jr. central branch downtown because of strained budgets, the mayor's office announced Friday that funding was found to prevent the Sunday shuttering.

The D.C. government will provide $316,000 to keep Sunday hours. "It is a priority to keep libraries open as many hours as possible and we are pleased we are able to continue to offer this important service to District residents," Chief Librarian Ginnie Cooper said in a statement.

D.C. Councilmember Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6), who chairs the committee overseeing the city's public libraries, applauded the action by Mayor Vincent Gray (D). "I'm thrilled that Mayor Gray has found the money needed to keep Sunday library hours open for residents," Wells said in a statement.

D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), who represents most of downtown, noted the importance of Sunday hours, a time when many patrons utilize free tax preparation services. "During tax season, MLK library is a popular site for free tax preparation services. Had it been closed on Sundays, hundreds of District residents would miss out on this vital service," he said in a statement.

Flickr photo by chantoozie