After a year of being closed Mondays, the Westwood Branch Library will resume Monday hours starting July 18. The other 72 libraries in the city of Los Angeles system will do so as well.
The libraries have been closed Mondays since July 2010 because of city budget cuts. But thanks to the March passage of Measure L, libraries will be open on Mondays from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
This was great news for Ivet Eghbalieh of West L.A. who brings her kids to the Westwood Branch a couple of times a month. They would have come more often had the library been open Mondays because it’s the most convenient day for their busy schedule.
“This is where all of our reading materials come from,” she said as she helped her son with homework at one of the tables in the children’s section.
The library was packed on a recent Tuesday, a possible result of being closed Mondays. Joyce Rich of Westwood, who volunteers with the Grandparents and Books program, comes every Tuesday to read to the kids or have them read to her.
“This is a special library,” she said. The change in hours “was terrible. It bothered all of us who are bookophiles.”
As a result of the library being open Mondays, the hours will be shortened on Fridays. Friday hours will be 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. starting July 22, instead of 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The library remains closed Sundays.
Library hours have been cut three times since 2009, according to the Los Angeles Public Library public information office.
Library proponents fought hard to get Measure L, the Public Library Funding Charter Amendment, on the ballot. It was approved by 63 percent of the voters in the March 8 election and forces the city to increase the percentage of property tax money that goes to libraries, but does not increase taxes. The measure has been criticized by some who say that only 11 percent of voters turned out for the election and the approved measure could force lawmakers to take money away from other city services, such as police and fire, over the next four years.
Cindy Bernheimer of Brentwood said that she voted for Measure L because libraries are important.
“My bias is toward education and getting information to as many people as possible,” she said as she left the library with a pile of books in her hands.