A system-wide total of 441 hours will be added to weekly schedules, increasing the average number of open hours per branch from 35.8 to 43.4 hours per week, a 21 percent increase.
The number of branches offering at least six-day service will increase from 16 to 32, representing more than half the neighborhood branches (for updated fall hours, visit BPL's website, www.brooklynpubliclibrary.org).
BPL is the nation's fifth largest library system, with a circulation that rose to an all-time high of over 20 million items last year. More than 841,000 patrons attended free Library programs, earning BPL the number one ranking in program attendance in North America by the American Library Association.
"We know from the unprecedented demand for Library materials and services we have seen over the last three years that BPL is critical to the literacy and productivity of the Borough," said Interim Executive Director Linda E. Johnson. "We are very excited to be able to offer increased hours to our patrons at a time when they need and are using our community libraries at record levels."
"It is truly a fantastic accomplishment that, even in a tough financial climate, the Brooklyn Public Library is able to expand their hours," Council Member Dominic Recchia, Chairman of the City Council Finance Committee, said. "Libraries are about so much more than books ? they're hubs of culture and activity, and they provide a wide range of important services to their communities. That's why, during this year's budget process, I worked with Speaker Christine Quinn and my colleagues in the City Council to ensure that libraries were getting the support they needed. I want to thank the amazing team at the Brooklyn Public Library, and especially Interim Executive Director Linda Johnson, for making such an admirable commitment to the people of Brooklyn."
"The Council has made keeping libraries open a top priority as they serve an important educational, recreational and cultural role in our community," said Council Speaker Christine Quinn. "Especially in light of today's challenging economic times, the Brooklyn Public Library's achievement of expanding branch hours and increasing six-day service among half of its branches is particularly remarkable. As the nation's fifth largest library system, all New Yorkers should be proud of the Brooklyn Public Library and its commitment to serve the people of this city. I want to thank and congratulate Interim Executive Director Linda Johnson and everyone on her team for this important accomplishment."
Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) is an independent library system for the 2.5 million residents of Brooklyn. It is the fifth largest library system in the United States with 60 neighborhood libraries around the borough. BPL offers free programs and services for all ages and stages of life, including a huge selection of books in more than 30 languages, author talks, literacy programs and public computers. BPL's eResources, such as eBooks and eVideos, catalog information and free homework help, are available to customers of all ages 24 hours a day at the BPL's website: www.brooklynpubliclibrary.org.