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Library system seeks funds for extended hours

POSTED: May 18, 2017 9:10 p.m.

The Hall County Library System is asking for a small bump in funding to keep its five branches open eight hours longer during the week.

With an extra $30,000 from the county, or a little more than 1 percent of the system’s $2.1 million budget this year, the downtown Gainesville, Spout Springs and Blackshear Place branches could stay open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

The three largest libraries would be open two more hours on Mondays and Thursdays, according to system Director Lisa MacKinney. The smaller libraries at the North Hall Tech Center and Murrayville would be open from 10 a.m. to 8 a.m. on Mondays and Thursdays.

“We would like to expand everyone’s hours fully at some point,” MacKinney said, noting that the increases would lead to eight more operating hours for the system.

There would be no additional hours on Friday and Saturday for any branches, but to remain consistent hours would change from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on those days.

With its approximately 45 full-time-equivalent positions, the budget bump for eight extra hours each week is relatively small. MacKinney explained that most of the funding will come from new cash raised by the system’s passport program, which started about 18 months ago at the Blackshear Place branch on Atlanta Highway.

“It has really increased our revenue,” she said.

The request will be part of the library system’s budget request to the Hall County Board of Commissioners, which will soon begin meeting with county staff to discuss the details of the proposed fiscal year 2018 budget before the full commission votes on the document in the next month.



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