Squadron Asks Library Officials to Rethink Closing Seward Park Branch on Sundays

The other day we noted the New York Public Library has decided to close several branches on Sundays due to budget cuts. The Seward Park Branch on East Broadway is one of five locations that canceled Sunday hours, as of this past weekend.  Now Senator Daniel Squadron has written a letter to Paul LeClerc, president and CEO of the NY Public Library:

…The Seward Park Branch serves a diverse community that includes many observant Jewish residents who are not able to visit the library on Saturdays. I recognize that, in these difficult budget times, the NYPL must take action to improve its fiscal situation.  However, given that the Sunday closures will effectively preclude the use of the Seward Park Branch during the weekend by the neighborhood’s Jewish community, I ask that you reconsider the decision to close this branch on Sundays and work with the community to find a way for all the residents of the Lower East Side to use the library.  I look forward to working with you to guarantee that the Seward Park Branch of the NYPL can continue to serve all the residents of the Lower East Side Community…

The city has cut nearly $6 million from this year’s NYPL budget. The state reduced its contribution by $900,000. The only other branch in Manhattan to be closed on Sundays is in Harlem. According to the School Library Journal:

The NYPL is feeling a strain along with many other public libraries across the nation. In the past 18 months, as the recession has continued, public libraries have reported an increase in demand for their services—but at the same time have watched as state and municipal budget cut into their ability to operate, a scenario the American Library Association has referred to as a “perfect storm.”