LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett's library branches could be packed today, system director Nancy Stanbery-Kellam said, as officials prepare for a new schedule that includes closing branches on Sundays and Mondays.
"Those dedicated library users will hopefully find the time or adjust their schedules," to the new hours, she said. "We hope we can continue to accommodate everyone who needs library services."
Stanbery-Kellam said Saturdays and
Tuesdays could become as rigorous as the days surrounding holidays, since people will still be able to return books and place holds over the Internet when the branches are closed.
With more and more people using the libraries not only recreationally in times of tight budgets but also to use the Internet and find new jobs, the director said the branches will be even busier because of the time reduction, which was necessary because of a decrease in funding.
Even more reductions could become necessary in 2010, and that could mean branches are closed and librarians are laid off, she said. But for now, the system is simply trying to realign resources, as a hiring freeze has meant a smaller staff.
"It's less people doing more work," she said, but she noted that the change means all librarians at local branches will have a consistent Tuesday through Saturday shift.
The new hours also mean the branches will close at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and at 6 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays
In August and September, the schedule change affected 51 children's programs. All but one were rescheduled, system spokeswoman Michelle Long said. Four programs for teenagers were also rescheduled.
Information on adult program changes was not immediately available.
Stanbery-Kellam said the changes have been posted in the branches, on the system's Web site and on check-out receipts. Much of the public's reaction has been understanding.
"Our intention is to continue to maintain the quality of service we've been providing," Stanbery-Kellam said.