With no time to spare, the D.C. Public Library announced last week that the money needed to keep Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library open on Sundays had been found.
As part of the 2012 Fiscal Year budget, which goes into effect tomorrow, cuts to the library system’s budget had forced the city’s flagship library to discontinue Sunday hours starting October 2. But this morning, Mayor Vince Gray announced that the $316,000 needed to keep the library open from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays had been found. The library is the only one in the District that is open on Sundays.
“The library plays an important role in supporting education for students of all ages and providing job search and career assistance,” said Gray in the release. “We are pleased we were able to identify funding to keep the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library open on Sundays.”
Councilmember Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6), who chairs the D.C. Council Committee on Libraries, Parks, Recreation, and Planning and had pushed Gray to dig up the needed funds to keep the library open on Sundays, was happy with the news.
“I’m thrilled that Mayor Gray has found the money needed to keep Sunday library hours open for residents,” he said. “Working in partnership with the Mayor, this makes good on the commitment and shared priority to keep the city’s libraries open and available to the public.”
Where did the money come from? Says Linda Wharton-Boyd, Gray’s spokeswoman: “Due to the savings realized from borrowing at a lower interest rate, the mayor was able to direct the modest savings to fund expenses necessary to ensure that the Martin Luther King Jr. Library was able to maintain Sunday operating hours.”