Boston Public Library To Be Closed Sundays

It sounds like the Boston Public Library will be closed year round on Sundays:

Boston Public Library trustees have signed off on a $39.3 million budget that does not include branch closures or layoffs, but that does call for shuttering the Copley branch on Sundays….

The proposed library budget for fiscal 2012 budget will be included in Mayor Thomas Menino’s overall city budget, due to be announced next month and needing the approval of the City Council. If the budget stays the same, funding levels fall to levels that were in place in fiscal year 2000.

Finances remain tight for the cash-strapped library system, which handled a $48 million budget in fiscal year 2009. The budget draws upon city, state and federal funds, along with trust funds and donations.

In his state budget, Gov. Deval Patrick has slotted $2.4 million for the library system, while Menino and trustees are lobbying for $3.9 million, which they say will allow them to keep the Copley branch open on Sundays. The budget must still go through the state Senate and House, with the House budget getting released in April and the Senate budget expected to be released in May.

Because of the timeline, which will likely stretch into June as lawmakers hash out a final version of the budget to send to the governor for his signature, library officials are unlikely to know how much they’ll be receiving in fiscal year 2012 until July. If less than $2.4 million is set aside for the system, trustees may be forced to look again at layoffs and branch closures, according to a presentation BPL officials made to trustees on Wednesday.

I’m glad no one is getting laid off. But the major tourist draw, the Sargent murals, is already closed on Saturdays and after 5pm, so its viewing is limited. It would be nice if they closed that floor one day during the week and kept it open on the weekend. And the library is always crowded on Sundays.

But what’s really shameful is that in a wealthy city, in a wealthy state, in a wealthy country, we can’t seem to find the money to keep libraries open, but we can start wars of choice*. Assuming the U.S. hasn’t collapsed, thirty years from now, people are going to look back and ask how we could have been so stupid and short-sighted.

*Being an insane Chartalist, at the federal level, I don’t worry about deficits per se. But for those who do (and most people seem to believe we’re still on the gold standard and act accordingly), how do you justify all of the ‘freedom bombs’? Especially the liberal hawks.

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2 Responses to Boston Public Library To Be Closed Sundays

  1. parnell says:

    Where I live in a semi-rural county in California the library is open five days a week for a total of 35 hours, only two of which are after 5:00 p.m. The library is always crowded and there’s an ongoing book sale to help fund the library but the city, county and state are ‘broke’ so there’s competition for funding.
    Demonstrating that ‘death panels’ aren’t the sole province of Arizona, our newly-elected ‘liberal’ governor,lifetime hack Jerry Brown, submitted a Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California) budget which would have been a death sentence to anyone eligible for Medi-Cal who was in need of dialysis, radiation therapy, chemotherapy or any other ongoing treatment.
    But our valiant legislators came to the semi-rescue of the poor and sick by producing the compromise noted below. Now the desperately ill can get the care they need but first they have to beg.
    CAPS ON CARE: The budget proposal would limit care and coverage for Medi-Cal patients by capping the number of doctor and clinic visits to 7 a year, with exceptions provided if a doctor certifies it is medically necessary.
    (The Governor’s original proposal was a hard cap of 10 doctor visits with no exceptions, and other hard caps on drugs and medical supplies.)

  2. Greg Laden says:

    Well, libraries and education and stuff are paid for by all suffering taxpayers, while wars are paid for by our great great grandchildren! Who won’t have any of those massive expenses associated with mounting numbers of libraries and educational institutions because by then there won’t be any.

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