Library slashes hours, to close main branch on Thursdays

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The Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library will close the Central Library on Thursdays and reduce hours at all branches by a collective 26 percent to help reduce a projected $4 million revenue shortfall next year, it announced Tuesday.

The cutback in hours, effective Oct. 3, should help save about $1.5 million and keep all branches open in 2011, library officials said.

“The new schedule is directly responsive to the public’s call for keeping libraries open while we work to achieve the necessary savings to sustain services,” Library CEO Laura Bramble said in a written statement.

Hours of service are staggered so patrons will have a close alternative if their typical branch is closed.

All locations will be open Monday through Thursday, except the downtown Central Library, which will be closed on Thursdays.

Branches will be closed either on Fridays or Saturdays, with a majority open on Saturdays.

Sunday library services will be available at the Glendale, Lawrence, Nora, Pike, Southport, Warren and Wayne branches, as well as Central Library and the InfoZone at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

Hours for the InfoZone and Flanner House branch at the Flanner House Community Center will remain the same.

The library system attributes its revenue shortfall to property-tax caps and lower-than-anticipated property-tax collections. It expects to achieve more savings from a $1 million reduction in the library’s books-and-materials budget, as well as cuts in printing, postage, utilities and data-communications costs.

Also, higher fees for such penalties as failing to pick up held books and for replacing library cards could result in a modest revenue bump, the library said.

The library system's new schedule is available here.

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