FW: Hours of Operation Cut for Clayton Library
05 April 2010
To Clayton Library Friends and Members of the Genealogical Community:
On Thursday, April 1st, 2010, Dr. Rhea Lawson, Director, Houston Public Library, presented a report to the City Council concerning a required reduction of operating hours in all Houston libraries (including special collections) due to drastic budget cuts city-wide. This proposal had already been approved by Mayor Parker prior to its presentation to council.
Effective April 17th, 2010, open hours at Clayton Library for Genealogical Research hours will be:
Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday 10-6;
Library CLOSED on Friday and Sunday
For some time now, there has been a hiring freeze in the HPL system, therefore, adjusting the total number of hours that Clayton Library will be open does not seem to be a negotiable possibility - even though Clayton operating hours are being reduced from 60 to 41 hours per week. However, CLF has significant issues and concerns regarding Friday closures. Out of town genealogists, especially societies, planning a research trip to Houston, often opt for combined Friday / Saturday research days. We are therefore requesting your support in notifying HPL that if the library MUST close on a weekday, it should be on Monday rather than Friday. Patron sign-in data reflects that Friday is a heavy-use day by Clayton patrons, and Mondays have fewer patrons. CLF believe a domino effect, including an adverse impact on tourism could result from Friday closings. In a time where family history interest is at a peak based on recent television programming such as "Who Do You Think You Are", access to the Clayton Library's collection is paramount to continued library growth and funding.
Some will remember an HPL cost-saving hour-cutting proposal in the spring of 2002 when the Clayton Library Friends negotiated an arrangement to furnish volunteers to perform duties that did not require professional library training. Those duties continue to be performed and last year totaled over 3,000 volunteer hours. However, the current problem is the dwindling number of Clayton library staff positions, security concerns with reduced staff and necessary available staff to provide the professional services to Clayton patrons.
Please take a moment to send comments regarding the reduction of access hours to the Clayton Library's unique, reference, non-circulating collection to: Ms. Meller Langford, Houston Public Library, Deputy Director of Public Services, 500 McKinney, Houston, TX 77002. Comments should also be made to your individual City Councilperson in support of Clayton Library and the fact that Clayton Library is not like other regional and neighborhood libraries where books/records can be checked out for use at home. Limiting the hours the Clayton Library is open unduly restricts records and research access. Comment forms may also be obtained at the library for your convenience.
Online comments may be made at: http//www2.houstonlibrary.org/services/comments.html.
If you are not a member of Clayton Library Friends, you are encouraged to join. Dues are used to enrich the Clayton collection www.ClaytonLibraryFriends.org .
To volunteer at the Clayton library, contact Clayton library volunteer coordinator Steven Bychowski at steven.bychowski@....
Alice Braud-Jones, President
Clayton Library Friends