CARTHAGE, Mo. —
A funding boost from the Carthage City Council will allow the Carthage Public Library to extend its operating hours starting Feb. 3.
“We are so happy; it means more access for the people of Carthage,” said Julie Yockey, library director.
Starting Feb. 3, hours will be extended on Monday and Saturday. Cutbacks had been imposed seven years ago because of a shortfall in operating funds.
The new hours will be 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
“We had been closed on Mondays and only open until noon on Saturdays,” Yockey said.
She said training will start Monday for three workers hired to help cover the additional operating hours.
“The City Council approved the budget amendment in November, and we’ve been planning for it ever since,” Yockey said. “The longer hours will start Feb. 3. That same date in 1905 is the day the library first opened. Then, the library had 3,000 books. Now, there are more than 65,000.”
Yockey said two actions by the council cleared the way for the longer hours. The council allocated $107,000 in city funds for the library in this year’s budget. The amount included $62,000 for operations and $45,000 as a grant for new books.
“Then the council amended the budget to allow the $45,000 to be spent any way the (library) board saw fit and allocated another $40,000.”
Tom Short, city administrator, said the $40,000 came from savings realized by the city when it refinanced a 2005 bond issue to fund construction of a library expansion project.
Longer hours have been a long-standing priority of the library board, said Yockey, who took over as library director seven months ago.
In addition to books in the library, she said, patrons have access to more than 1 million books available through the Missouri Evergreen Consortium, a 15-library cooperative, and books through Overdrive, an e-book service to which the library subscribes.
THE LIBRARY just completed a project to replace the more than 30 computers in the library with new models, with funding by the Carthage Library Development Foundation.