Update May 2014: I hope it's not a given that Measure B will pass to continue funding SJ libraries. We need to make sure this happens as well as then push to get additional hours.
The Friends of Joyce Ellington Library have initiated this, but it is for the benefit of the whole San Jose Public Library system. We wanted to put a request to residents to contact their city council members and mayor to ask for a revised library schedule as they do their budget talks. Here's our public plea.
Currently, for example, JEL is open Mon-Thur. It has been two years that we have been reduced to this schedule with no changes in sight. Each branch has a buddy branch that is open roughly the opposite days of the week. So that means branches like ours have lost its Saturdays for two years AND we lose about 7 Mondays a year due to holidays. Whether you're a parent or not, you have to know how much it hurts neighborhoods not to be open on Saturdays. We're not asking for the whole week; we accept that our city budget cannot manage that. We know we're not the fire department or police, but we cannot diminish the use and importance of our public libraries.
We'd like to suggest two options (although open for more):
(1) Switch buddy branch schedules. Mon-Thurs branches become Wed-Sat and vice versa. It's only fair. They're had it that way for a long time and it's time to give equal treatment to its buddy branch. We think the cost here is minimal. What more besides changing signage and a little adjustment to neighbors?
(2) Close Mondays across the library system and just give Mon-Thur branches their Saturday back, Yes, it would be weird with a Tues-Thurs and then lone Sat kind of week but it's worth it. A slight alternate to this option could be to have a 4.5 week where Friday would be a half day.
If anyone has ever been to a Saturday open branch, they are thriving and bustling. It is a huge disservice to our neighborhood that we (Mon-Thur branches) are not open on a Saturday; one, for those not able to come mid-week; two, to give people, especially kids, something else to do on a weekend; and three, to better serve the Friends book sale who rely on library foot traffic for sales!!
Whether you use the local library or not, this is for the greater good. Let's fix our neighborhood's problem before they happen and give kids a safe place to go and something educational to do and someplace to commune together.