RELEASE: Alderman Sawyer Concerned by new library hours
A press release form the Alderman's office regarding the new decison to shut down all neighborhood branches on Monday:
Alderman Roderick T. Sawyer of the 6th Ward expressed concern at the last second change to library hours. This week the library announced that instead of being closed on Monday and Friday mornings that the libraries would just be closed for the full day on Monday.
During the recent budget session there was much debate about the hour change for libraries including whether Monday and Friday mornings were the best to be closed because of low traffic and whether individual libraries could close on their slowest hours rather than system wide set hours. “It was not stressed that the entire idea was contingent on union concessions that had not been discussed,” Alderman Sawyer said. “As one of the 28 Alderman who signed the letter to protest the original cuts I would not have believed the compromise was sufficient if I knew it would leave out neighborhood libraries with a closed week day.”
Alderman Sawyer along with 27 aldermanic colleagues signed a letter expressing serious reservations with the city budget. Alderman Sawyer stated that he went to council the day of the budget vote still unconvinced but determined to give Mayor Emanuel the benefit of the doubt that we were making necessary financial efficiencies without serious impacts to service. This budget also included changes to garbage collections; the 911 center and city run mental health clinics that concerned the alderman.
Currently the plan is for branch libraries to only be open from Tuesday Through Saturday, except the Regional Libraries that would retain their regular hours.
“We all know we are in difficult economic times but the bait and switch is not a good way to negotiate, I am concerned about what this means for the other cuts we approved,” Sawyer said. “It is not productive to release drastic cuts in the press as a way to try to pressure city workers to cutting a deal the way you want. I have spoken to the Mayor’s office and they ensure that the press reports are not correct, however I remain committed to trying to restore all funding as well as providing the tools for people to effectively seek employment at their public libraries.”
For More Information Contact Lesley Chinn
firstname.lastname@example.org (773) 746-9044