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County commissioners extend Chatham Community Library’s hours

Posted Friday, September 9, 2011

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Pittsboro, NC - The Chatham County Board of Commissioners voted on September 6 to keep Chatham Community Library in Pittsboro open longer on Monday and Wednesday evenings and on Saturdays. At the commissioners’ request, county staff also will explore opening the library on Sunday afternoons.

The expanded hours would come from a portion of funds that the Chatham County School System has offered to return. The library’s hours had been previously reduced as part of the county’s recent budget cuts. The library serves both county residents and students of Central Carolina Community College.

“We feel that this is the best use of these funds since our library director has effectively identified specific needs to provide greater library access for both residents and community college students,” said Commissioner Chairman Brian Bock.

Library Director Linda Clarke reported that patrons of Chatham Community Library had expressed the need for more after-work hours during the week and weekends. “This community college is also grateful that this action will help its students with their research and studies.”

The new schedule for Chatham Community Library in Pittsboro other than possible Sunday hours is:



Mondays-Thursdays: 9 am to 8 pm
Fridays: 9 am to 6 pm
Saturdays: 9 am to 5 pm

Clarke noted that the changes do not impact the hours for the libraries in Siler City and Goldston.

To pay for the change, the Board of Commissioners used $20,000 of $110,096 that the school system offered to return. In addition, they reserved $5,000 of the returned funds for potential Sunday afternoon hours, contingent on research and recommendation by the Library Director.

The returned funds originally had been budgeted in anticipation of state budget cuts to retain two teachers at Sage Academy. The state budget cuts were not as deep as expected, so the Board of Education voted in August to offer to return the funds to the county.

The commissioners allowed the school system to keep the remaining funds with the condition that the Board of Education report back on how they will use them.

Since the new library funds are for the current budget year only, the commissioners will still have to decide if or how to continue the extended hours for Chatham Community Library after the current budget year. The cost of the extended hours for a full year is around $24,000, but the cost of adding Sunday hours is not yet determined.

 
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County commissioners extend Chatham Community Library’s hours
The Chatham Community library serves both county residents and students of Central Carolina Community College.
 
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