The Indianapolis Public Library will restore longer operating hours beginning this week.
For the last 18 months, the library board and the City-County Council have been working to find a better funding method and had considered reducing library operating hours due to budgets cuts, but the possible changes sparked protests from community groups.
In March, library officials approved a proposal to expand hours at branches throughout Marion County.
State leaders approved nearly $150,000 in County Option Income Tax funds into the library's operating budget, RTV6's Tanya Spencer
The extra funds means longer operating hours and restored Thursdays for the librarys central branch in downtown Indianapolis.
Liberty Dirig said she was one of many parents who didnt like the temporary closures during the budget battle.
I kept forgetting that it was closed on Thursday and we would come and then it's closed. You have to drive around trying to find something else for the kids to do, Dirig said.
Library Chief Executive Officer Jackie Nytes said it was the publics discontent that was responsible for the hours being restored.
"You know, there are 88,000 children with library cards in this city. With these expanded hours, they're going to have a better chance of being able to get to the library at a time and a schedule that works for their family, Nytes said.
Dirig said she was thrilled when she found out that hours were restored at all 22 branches, especially since summer is right around the corner.
"It's a good place for the kids to go. A lot of times at the school libraries, you don't get to get with your kids to help them pick out books. But (at the public library,) they have so much to do, Dirig said.
Mayor Greg Ballard said the restored hours would be welcomed in every neighborhood.
"(The library) is just a part of the community. It's part of a neighborhood and each neighborhood deserves a good library to go to," Ballard said. "It kind of expands horizons for kids and that is so important."
Indianapolis libraries will be open Monday through Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday library service will be available from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Central Library downtown as well as the Glendale, Lawrence, Nora, Pike, Southport, Warren and Wayne branches, officials said.
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