March 18, 2018

Los Angeles Increases and Boston Preserves Service Hours

The Boston Public Library (BPL) and the Los Angeles Public Library have both recently had good news to report about their hours of service.

In the case of Los Angeles, Monday service was reinstated at all 73 city libraries starting July 18. This was a direct result of the passage of Measure L on March 8 which carved out a guaranteed revenue stream for the library and will allow it to restore library service hours to the 2009 level over the next four years.

The city’s 73 libraries had been closed Mondays and service hours slashed to their lowest level in the library’s 140-year history in August 2010, following cuts to the library budget.

Boston Public Library dodged a bullet. The library had not actually eliminated its Sunday hours at the Central Library in Copley Square, but there was a real possibility that beginning October 2 the library would have no choice.

But because of better budget news from the state, the BPL’s Board of Trustees voted on Tuesday to continue Sunday hours at the Central Library from October 2011 through May 2012.  The Central Library will be open on 27 Sundays in FY12.

According to a library press release, in March, the trustees approved a proposed $39.34 million budget for the 2012 fiscal year (FY12), which included a preliminary estimate of $2.42 million in state support and would have necessitated eliminating the Sunday hours. The state support number was based on Governor Deval Patrick’s 2012 recommended budget released in January 2011. In July, after the Massachusetts House and Senate discussed and revised the state budget, Patrick  signed the budget, which includes an appropriation of about $2.76 million for the library. This is the same amount of funding the library received from the state in FY11 and about $350,000 more than was included in the Trustees’ March discussion and vote.

As a result, Sunday hours will remain at the FY11 level.

Michael Kelley About Michael Kelley

Michael Kelley ( is the former Editor-in-Chief, Library Journal.