Public Library Extends Service Around City

by Devin Katayama on August 8, 2011

Lower wages and higher fees will help re-open six libraries for Sunday service.

The Louisville Free Public Library started closing branches on Sundays starting in 2008 due to budget cuts. It was able to salvage this cut after increasing late fees on Jul. 1 from 10 to 20 cents, and re-negotiating union contracts. Library employees will now be paid time-and-a-half for working Sundays. Before they were earning double-time. But keeping libraries open on Sunday was a high public demand, said Craig Buthod, executive director of the Louisville Free Public Library.

“We heard about it every day from people asking us, Why aren’t you open on Sundays? I’ve also come down to the main library on Sundays and watched as people rattled the doors to see if we were open,” he said.

This will also give students access to libraries on all days before school, said Buthod.

Next Sunday will be the formal re-opening of six branches, which includes Iroquois, Okolona, Southwest, Bon Air, St. Mathews and the Main downtown libraries. When the renovations are done at the Shawnee branch, it will become the seventh library to re-open for Sunday service. Mayor Greg Fischer will try to make an appearance at all six branches, said Buthod.

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