CHICAGO (STMW) – Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Library Commissioner Mary Dempsey announced Saturday that branch locations of the Chicago Public Library will be open on Monday afternoons starting February 6.
“We made a commitment to children and residents that libraries would be open six days a week, and we are delivering on that commitment without any cooperation from union leadership,” Emanuel said at a press conference Saturday morning at the West Pullman library branch at 119th and Halsted streets. “Branch libraries will open on Monday afternoons – and all day on Mondays when Chicago Public Schools are not in session – to provide students and others the many resources the library offers.”
City officials are re-allocating more than $2 million in resources to keep branch locations available six days a week, according to a release from the mayor’s office. These resources will allow 90 positions to be placed in CPL branches including restoring 65 positions from savings inside and outside the library system, the release said. This includes shifting 25 library staff from Harold Washington Library to branches; reducing maintenance costs and services at the central location; leaving unfilled positions vacant; and reducing tuition reimbursement allotments.
“I know our librarians are committed to providing the best services to the children and residents of Chicago, but unfortunately their union leadership would not partner with us on a solution,” Emanuel said. “Keeping libraries open on Monday afternoons – when children are out of school and need a safe place to study – is the right thing to do for our students and residents.”
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