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New library hours start Sunday

Jody Peak, and her 8-year-old son, Nathaniel use the self check out system at the Gwinnett County Public Library Lawrenceville branch on Tuesday afternoon. Peak said she does not like the new hours because instead of just going to the library, she'll now need to work the hours into her busy schedule. "It's going to be tough in the summertime," she said.

Jody Peak, and her 8-year-old son, Nathaniel use the self check out system at the Gwinnett County Public Library Lawrenceville branch on Tuesday afternoon. Peak said she does not like the new hours because instead of just going to the library, she'll now need to work the hours into her busy schedule. "It's going to be tough in the summertime," she said.

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The Gwinnett County Public Library has posted signs throughout the library to inform guests of the hours. The hours posted in this particular sign will change on Sunday.

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Changes are coming this week for the Gwinnett County Public Library System and the 15 branches it serves.

Starting Sunday, officials will begin a cost-savings effort called the "buddy branch model."

The library board voted last month to cut from 53 hours a week to 44 hours, but branches will remain open seven days a week.

Some library-goers applauded the board's efforts to keep all branches open, even if the hours are shifting.

Using the buddy branch system, libraries located geographically close to each other will pair up to alternate Monday through Thursday morning and evening hours.

For instance, the Buford-Sugar Hill and Suwanee branches will pair off. One will be open on Monday from noon to 8 p.m., while the other will be open the same day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The two branches will alternate the hours Monday through Thursday.

Other pairings of library branches include Hamilton Mill and Dacula; Collins Hill and Lawrenceville; Duluth and Peachtree Corners; Norcross and Lilburn; Five Forks and Mountain Park; and Grayson, Snellville and Centerville.

Deanna Cross, who uses the Collins Hill Branch on occasion to study, said the new hours meant she'd have to leave earlier than usual on some days, but overall it would not affect her.

"I'm sure it will be bad for some people, but it sounds like the board is doing what they can to try and make it work," Cross said. "I'd hate to hear it if they started closing libraries."

Christina Howell agreed. She was visiting the Collins Hill branch for the first time Tuesday.

"I've heard about places that are closing libraries outside Gwinnett County," Howell said. "At least they're not to that point."

Nancy Stanberry-Kellam, executive director with the system, said the buddy branch model "allows us to continue to provide seven days of library service."

"The library is continuing to find ways to maximize the reduced resources as business continues to increase," Stanberry-Kellam said.

Weekend hours will be consistent at all locations. On Friday, branches will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Locations will be open from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The following are the new hours for Buford-Sugar Hill, Hamilton Mill, Collins Hill, Peachtree Corners, Lilburn, Five Forks, Grayson and Centerville branches:

Monday, noon to 8 p.m.

Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Wednesday, noon to 8 p.m.

Thursday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

At Suwanee, Dacula, Lawrenceville, Duluth, Norcross, Mountain Park and Elizabeth H. Williams/Snellville:

Monday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Tuesday, noon to 8 p.m.

Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Thursday, noon to 8 p.m.

Weekend hours are uniform across the system:

Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.