City Libraries May Not Face One Day A Week Closure After All

Sep 9, 2013

If an amendment remains in place when San Antonio City Council votes on the budget this week, then the doors at city libraries will stay open all week long.

Library board chair Jean Brady cautioned that nothing is final until the city council votes Thursday on the proposed budget. But right now it looks like library funding will be restored to keep branch libraries open.

"If this funding’s been restored then that means we’ll be at seven days a week doing business as usual," Brady said Monday. "We’re delighted."

Brady said the library was set to take a big hit that would have forced staggered closures of all branch libraries one day a week -- and 33 employees were also facing job reassignment.

Five years ago, Brady remembered that library hours had to be reduced, and that was again being considered.

Brady pointed out how valued libraries are.

“When you think about that we’re early voting and regular voting sites, the VITA income tax people work there, I mean there are a lot of programming things that go on," said Brady. "People wouldn’t be able to get in to apply for a job online. A lot of people don’t have computers and so there are a lot of ways that people are affected by closing branch libraries.”

District 10 Councilman Carlton Soules has expressed disappointment in the proposed budget. He has said the budget is tight but still found room to add $615,000 more dollars over 2013 to projects like Hemisfair redevelopment.

Customers of the city’s solid waste service may see a 50 cent increase to $19.93 per month.

City Manager Sheryl Sculley said the most important services like police and fire will remain strong and a priority in the budget.