Starting today, the city of Long Beach will cut hours for all of its public libraries to just five days a week.
Until now, only four libraries in Long Beach were open six days a week. North Branch, Mark Twain, Bret Harte and El Dorado all stayed open on Mondays. But this coming fiscal year, Long Beach faces an $18 million budget gap.
Chris Burcham with the Long Beach Public Library says they have to fill it somehow. "Of course, nobody’s having fun anymore with the budget. You know, there’s pain all around. This is probably as good as it could be right now."
Long Beach Public Libraries opted to shutter all of their branches on Monday – and eliminate one librarian position. Long Beach had it pretty easy until recently. The city’s libraries even expanded hours three years ago. Things started going downhill last year when the Main Library cut two days from its schedule.
Budget shortfalls have affected libraries all over the state. Los Angeles adopted a five-day-a-week library schedule this past summer.