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TUSTIN : Expanded Library Hours Considered

Residents would be able to visit the Tustin Branch Library five days a week, instead of just four, under a program being explored by the city and the Orange County Public Library system.

If approved by the City Council, Tustin would spend about $50,000 a year to keep the county branch library open the extra day. The library, at 345 E. Main St., is currently closed Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

“This would be a first,” County Librarian John Adams said. “We hope that we can have cooperative ventures with other cities to expand library services.”

“I certainly think it would be money well spent,” said Councilwoman Tracy Worley, who has been working with Adams on the pilot program.

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“I just feel as a society our priorities are out of line when we’re closing libraries left and right,” she said. “We need our kids to be reading.”

Worley said that if the pilot program proves successful in its first year, she would like to see the library kept open six days a week the following year. Worley said city costs could possibly be reduced if seniors or other residents volunteered to work at the library.

Adams said the Tustin Branch Library and the other 26 libraries in the county system had to reduce their hours last year in response to a 35% cut in state funding. The libraries had previously been open six days a week, but starting in July, 1993, the facilities cut back to four days a week.

Adams said emergency subsidies approved by the County Board of Supervisors will prevent the closure of libraries or further reductions in services, at least during the 1994-95 fiscal year.

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