The Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) announced this week that it has restored Monday hours to its Central Library and all of its 72 branches—hours that had been cut due to budget rollbacks last year.
In a press release, LAPL stated that funds for the restoration had been made available due to voter approval of charter amendment Measure L in March 2011. As LJ reported in March, Measure L increased library funding to .03 percent of the assessed value of all property in Los Angeles, a jump from .0175 percent, to be phased in over the next four years. By 2015, the measure will generate an estimated $130 million for the library each fiscal year, according to LAPL projections, up from $75.9 million in FY11.
“In the March election, the people of Los Angeles affirmed that libraries are critical to our neighborhoods and need to be open. I’m proud that we are fulfilling our pledge to voters and taking the first step in restoring library service hours within the first few weeks of the new fiscal year,” City Librarian Martín Gómez said in the announcement. “Fully restoring service over the next four years is a top priority for the Los Angeles Public Library.”
LAPL’s staff had been trimmed to 828 in FY11, down from 1,156 in FY10. Though there were no specifics in the latest announcement about reversing those cuts, Gómez told LJ in March that the approval of Measure L would allow the library to resume hiring.