CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – With 17% of its budget cut- Chesterfield libraries are having to slash hours of operation. Seven weeks from today, almost all locations will be closed on Thursdays.
It's Thursday afternoon and Ronald Lee is studying for a test. He takes advantage of the Central Library's quiet space twice a week.
"The libraries provide a real important function for our community," said Ronald Lee. "Let's look at all the things that are happening here. Look at all the good books, the movies, the quiet rooms, the Wi-Fi."
In seven weeks there will be less of an opportunity to take advantage of the free services.
"All branches except for Central will be closed on Thursdays and Central will be open from 1-9 p.m. to the public," said Carolyn Sears, spokesperson for Chesterfield Libraries.
The cut to library hours is a result of $1.4-million in budget cuts. Thirty-nine full and part-time associate positions will also disappear July 1.
"I could see having to stand in line and ask questions could really impact the time that I have," said Lee.
Mary Surface is one of the $238,000 library members who will be affected.
"I expect that there will be a little bit longer line at the checkout," said Mary Surface. "I might have to wait a few days for a hold that otherwise would be out sooner."
There will also be a smaller selection of new items- the materials budget is also taking a hit.
"I used to be a very active volunteer when my children were growing up, and I can see that may be a resource that is going to be made use of again," Surface said.
Volunteers will be key during the next year. This summer, teens are being asked to help with the summer reading program which drew 12,000 participants last year.
Last year there were two million visits to libraries. The department is hoping to keep user-ship up with the help of online resources.
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