All Baltimore County Public Library Branches to be Open Sundays
Full Hours for Loch Raven Branch
Towson, Maryland (August 22, 2013) – Baltimore County's award-winning public libraries will all now be open for business on Sundays starting September 8 and four satellite branches will switch to full-time schedules. County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and Baltimore County Public Library (BCPL) Director Jim Fish announced this positive development to a crowd of library supporters and patrons at the Loch Raven branch this morning.
"From an educational and cultural perspective, public libraries truly are critical infrastructure and this expansion will directly benefit our residents, especially our children," said Kamenetz. "I congratulate Jim Fish and the library staff for taking a fresh look at their operations and working out efficiencies and consolidation of resources to offer expanded service without increasing costs to taxpayers."
Expanded Sunday Hours
BCPL is expanding Sunday hours to all branches year-round and will strengthen its four satellite branches by re-assigning current BCPL staff to meet demand for services and expand hours at the Loch Raven Branch. Currently, just four BCPL branches are open on Sundays year-round with nine others open on Sundays from September through May. Beginning Sunday, September 8, all BCPL branches will be open on Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. all year-round.
"Being open for the public is one of the most basic and important activities for a library," said BCPL Director Jim Fish. "We have received many requests over the years for more Sunday hours, a time when more people are able to avail themselves of library services. We are very excited to make these changes, and I am appreciative of the flexibility and dedication of library staff in making them happen."
Strengthening of Satellite Services
To accomplish the expansion of hours and strengthening of satellite services without incurring substantial additional costs, BCPL carefully evaluated staffing levels at all branches. Based on results of the evaluation, changes were made that allow for expanded services including setting up a rotation for both full and part-time staff to cover Sunday hours and the movement of some positions around the system to strengthen satellite branches.
Loch Raven Branch New Hours
BCPL currently designates four of its branches as satellite branches. These four branches are the Hereford Branch, Lansdowne Branch, Loch Raven Branch and Sollers Point Branch. In order to meet demand and strengthen services at Hereford, Lansdowne and Loch Raven, positions will be added to these branches by re-assigning staff currently working at other BCPL branches.
Additionally, hours will be added at the Loch Raven Branch so the branch is open for the same number of hours per week as other branches throughout the system.
"The Loch Raven and Hillendale communities deserve the same access to a full-time library as every other populated community in Baltimore County," said 5th District County Councilman David Marks. "I commend County Executive Kamenetz and Library Director Jim Fish for expanding library service during such a fiscally challenging time."