Mayor Villaraigosa Reopens City Libraries For Monday Service

City Leaders Applaud Libraries for Improving Student Learning, Reading, and Giving Students Access to Books During the Summer Months

LOS ANGELES – Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Council President Eric Garcetti, Councilmembers LaBonge, Parks and Perry, City Librarian Martín Gómez and dozens of LAUSD students launched the first day of Monday service at all 73 city libraries today. Villaraigosa thanked the libraries and their staff for their commitment to improving the reading skills of LA students during the summer months.

“When I was growing up, my mother worked and after school and sent me to the
library to do my homework, and stay out of trouble,” Mayor Villaraigosa said.

“So I know the positive role libraries play in shaping the lives of our young
people and enriching our communities. That is why when I first became Mayor,
I proudly expanded library hours and why I am thrilled to announce the first phase in the restoration of library hours in Los Angeles.”

The city’s 73 libraries were 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.  Voter-approved Measure L gradually restores library service hours to the 2009 level over the next four years by increasing the Library’s share of City funding without new taxes.

“I am thrilled to see our libraries once again open on Mondays, and believe this a victory to be celebrated by all Angelenos,” said Councilmember Bernard C. Parks, who proposed and led the effort to create Measure L.  “By voting to guarantee libraries a higher share of property tax revenue, residents of Los Angeles have shown their commitment to maintaining the library system and expressed the value they place on this critical city service.”

The Mayor and Councilmembers who spearheaded Measure L were joined by Library Commission President Dr. Tyree Wieder, Library Foundation of Los Angeles co-chair Jeff Brown and other dignitaries for the opening.  Villaraigosa also read to students from Noble Avenue Elementary School in West Hills and stressed the importance of reading and learning.

“In the March election, the people of Los Angeles affirmed that libraries are critical to our neighborhoods and need to be open and I’m proud that we are fulfilling our pledge to voters,” City Librarian Martín Gómez said. “Fully restoring service over the next four years is a top priority for the Los Angeles Public Library.”

Re-opening libraries on Mondays restores access to the Library’s valuable resources that help people find jobs, do research, receive free homework help, take free literacy and computer classes and access the Web through library computers and free wi-fi.  Monday service also benefits students.  In addition to operating the city’s largest after-school program, the library helps students succeed in school with programs for college prep, homework tutoring, literacy building skills and by providing a safe adult-supervised place for students to do their homework.

“By reopening our libraries on Mondays, we reopen the doors of opportunity for thousands of children and families who look to their local library as a place of learning, safety, and community,” said Council President Eric Garcetti, who also served on the campaign committee.  ”I was proud to co-author Measure L to ensure our libraries continue to serve Angelenos for generations to come.”

Council President Pro Tempore Jan Perry, who served on the Measure L campaign committee and in whose district the Central Library is located, said, “When voters passed Measure L, they said loud and clear that they believed in the important role that libraries play in our neighborhoods; they serve as a place for learning, a safe place for children and their families, and an important community gathering space.  I am proud to join my colleagues in celebrating the re-opening of city libraries on Mondays and in supporting our libraries so that future generations can continue to enjoy this valuable community resource.”

Councilmember Tom LaBonge who introduced the council motion that placed the measure on the ballot and served on the campaign committee, said, “A big thanks to the people of Los Angeles for passing Measure L, which ensures the funding for restoring hours at our city libraries.  ’L’ stands for libraries and ‘L’ stands for love.  The passage of Measure L proves that we in Los Angeles love our libraries.”

The Los Angeles Public Library serves the largest and most diverse population of any library in the nation. Its Central Library, 72 branch libraries, more than six million books, and state-of-the-art technology accessible at www.lapl.org, provide everyone with free and easy access to information and the opportunity for life-long learning.

New library service hours starting July 18:

Central Library

Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday:                         10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Tuesday & Thursday:                                                       10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Sunday & holidays:                                                          closed

 

Regional Libraries

Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday:                         10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Tuesday & Thursday:                                                      12:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Sunday & holidays:                                                         closed

 

Branch Libraries*

Monday, Wednesday & Saturday:                                      10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Tuesday & Thursday:                                                        12:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Friday:                                                                             1:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Sunday & holidays:                                                            closed

*Note: Robertson Branch is closed Saturdays and open Sundays 1 – 5 p.m.

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