The effects of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s 2012 budget cuts are already being felt at Chicago Public Libraries. Branches will now be closed on Mondays, as well as Sundays. Only the Harold Washington Library Center and the system’s two regional libraries, Woodson and Lincoln Square’s Sulzer branch (4455 N. Lincoln Ave.), will remain open seven days a week.
CPL funding was slashed by $3.3 million, down from a proposed $10 million, despite protests from residents. [Correction: $3.3 million was restored to CPL; funding was cut $6.7 million.]In addition to reducing hours of operation, CPL planned to close its budget gap by eliminating a number of jobs, including those of pages, who are responsible for shelving books. Comments on CPL’s Facebook page indicated that the number of holds permitted per patron is also being limited.
As of publication, CPL had yet to respond to CSJ‘s request to confirm any job losses and additional changes to library policies.