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Library to take poll on hours

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Months after Gwinnett's library system cut hours and closed on Sundays and Mondays, officials are conducting a survey to reconsider its schedule.

The survey, which asks questions related to preferred hours and days open, is available online at www.gwinnettpl.org and the system's 14 branches.

Due by Friday, the survey will be used to determine hours and days for 2010.

Library officials have said they may devise a schedule where at least one branch is open every day of the week, but the number of hours for the coming year has yet to be determined.

Because of budget woes, Gwinnett's library board began a drastic reduction in hours this summer, where branches were reduced from 71 hours to 43 each week.

After scrapping a plan to create regional branches and computer labs, an expected further budget reduction caused the board to vote to reduce hours again to 35 hours a week beginning next year. But when commissioners approved a millage rate increase earlier this month, they promised to renew funding for the system.

The library board has yet to adopt the new hours model, but county officials said the money could fund between 48 and 52 hours a week.

"It's important that library customers complete the survey to ensure that we are meeting the library service needs of this community and so we have accurate information as we develop the new library schedule for 2010," Gwinnett County Public Library Executive Director Nancy Stanbery-Kellam said.

The new service hours will be implemented in the spring, a press release said.