Library Hours Matter
August 17th, 2007

Photo by LesterHead

Congestion Pricing, PlaNYC – but what about libraries? The recent decision to restore library service to six days a week is a major accomplishment that has been overshadowed, says Jonathan Bowles, director of the Center for an Urban Future.

Instead, it “should be recognized as a landmark achievement for boosting the competitiveness of the city’s future workforce and improving the quality of life for untold numbers of seniors, parents, children and immigrants,” he wrote in a recent essay.

Bowles points out that libraries do more than lend books, “They foster reading skills in kids, assist adults in addressing skills gaps, help immigrants assimilate and bolster technology access for thousands of seniors and low-income individuals”

But for all the praise he heaps on the city’s initiative, Bowles’ essay includes a less flattering comparison of the library hours of the 20 largest cities. While the expanded hours will bump New York up from last place, it will only advance to number 15 out of the 20, the center’s numbers show. The 45 hours per week the libraries will now be open is still also below the national average of 47.

By on August 17, 2007, 10:23 am
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