With the recent budget cuts and subsequent layoffs in New Haven, library hours were drastically decreased starting in late February. The main library branch saw a reduction from 185 to 148 hours per month, while the neighborhood branches saw larger reductions from 136 to 96, which includes the elimination of Saturday hours. Now, residents are speaking out against the cuts and taking action via SeeClickFix.
Designated issue #86403, the "Petition to Restore Library Hours in New Haven" has seen a lot of activity since being posted 9 days ago. The issue has been viewed over 1500 times, with 123 users voting to immediately restore the eliminated hours.
According to the SeeClickFix posting, an anonymous user started the petition at the request of an elderly New Haven resident who could no longer access the Internet because of the eliminated weekend library hours. The anonymous SeeClickFix user wrote that local libraries are crucial to "public space and civic vitality in New Haven" and "should be active community hubs where neighbors can meet and cement relationships." The libraries provide many services to all members of the community, from educational resources and public computer access to providing space for residents to gather and cultivate relationships.
One SeeClickFix user, Corlis Carroll, posted that she couldn't believe the city was removing the Saturday hours:
What about the children who like to go to the library on their day off from school?
SeeClickFix helps citizens communicate and collaborate with each other and their local governments. If you want to get involved, vote to restore the library hours here. With just one click, you can help improve the lives of your neighbors!
To read more about the reduction in library hours, check out this article from the New Haven Independent.