officials are considering opening the building up for brief Sunday hours after Labor Day.
The library board discussed the possibility during its monthly meeting Tuesday night, but there are still some questions about whether they can afford the extra cost.
from 58 hours a week to 35–the library is now closed Sundays–in May because of budget and fundraising problems after the new building opened in early 2011. But those cuts also are raising concerns that the library is losing patrons and the chance for donors.
“You can’t believe how many people are walking up to the door and trying to open it,” new fundraising director Joyce Heinrich said about people coming upon the locked doors. “And they’re not coming back. We’re losing lots of families and children.”
The cost to staff the building for four hours in the afternoon for the final 17 weeks of the year would total a little more than $1,200. The library board is trying to decide if it can afford the additional costs or if it could solicit donations from residents or local businesses.
Library board President Nino Petrocelli Sr. is concerned that any added costs could hurt the viability of the library in the future.
“You cannot let the emotions into it,” Petrocelli said. “That budget is very simple. It’s cut and dry.”
But fellow board member Becky Wisbon thinks the reduced hours is doing more harm to the library’s reputation and the ability .
“We already baked the cookies and now we’re slapping their hands away,” Wisbon said.
She thinks the library needs to function so it will be viewed as a viable asset to the community.
“I don’t want to make it sound like it’s over,” Wisbon said. “I don’t want to paint ‘It’s Over’ on the door.”
A decision likely will be made at their next library board meeting on Aug. 21.
Anyone who wants to donate money to open the library from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays after Labor Day is asked to call 412-221-3737 or email Heinrich at firstname.lastname@example.org.