Library Closing Sunday not Befitting a Great City

March 31, 2011
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The trustees of the Boston Public Library have submitted a budget for the coming year which includes closing the Boston Public Library in Copley Square on Sundays as a money saver.

According to the library trustees, it costs $243,000 annually to keep the library open on Sundays.

Although the trustees released no statistics, it is assumed that Sunday traffic inside the library is light and so the decision has apparently been made.

We would urge the library trustees to re-think this budget item.

The library’s Copley Square main branch should remain open seven days a week.

At the very least, the library should be open for tours so that visitors to the city can avail themselves a look at one of the nation’s oldest and most beautiful public libraries.

It seems incomprehensible to us that one of the great dames of the library system in the United States should be closed 52 Sunday to save $243,000.

That’s less than $5,000 for each Sunday.

In a perfect world, Mayor Menino could find this money in a heartbeat.

However, this is not a perfect world and all municipal budgets in their many parts are being more highly scrutinized than ever before.

In this instance, the library trustees must look more closely and make harder decisions to do without elsewhere than to close the flagship of its vaunted library system on Sundays.

To do so would be the beginning of the end.

The Boston Public Library isn’t a museum.

It must be open to the public for its use.

Anything less, is a shame.

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