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Expanded library hours well received
Schedule helps meet communitys needs
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Forsyth County News

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Recently expanded library hours will allow for more programming at all four Forsyth County branches, officials say.

On Jan. 5, the hours were expanded after requests from residents and a decision in 2013 by Forsyth County commissioners to increase library funding.

“[Library users] are thrilled,” said Steve Kight, assistant director for public services. “They’ve been asking for this for the past couple of years and we are so grateful to the commissioners for giving us funding for this.”

The Cumming, Post Road and Sharon Forks library branches stay open until 8:30 p.m. three nights a week, instead of two.

The Hampton Park branch is open until 8:30 p.m. two nights a week rather than one, and opens at 10 a.m. on Tuesday instead of 1 p.m.

Hours at the Cumming and Sharon Forks branches have been nearly restored to what they were prior to 2010. At that time, the branches stayed open until 8:30 p.m. four nights a week.

The hours were scaled back to help provide staff to open the Hampton Park branch in north Forsyth. The Post Road branch in west Forsyth opened in 2013.

Kight said the new hours allow the branches to provide additional services.

“People have been asking us for quite some time to do more programming for the evenings and weekends when families are able to do things together,” he said. “So this was the perfect opportunity for us to do more.”

Laura Bradley, the library system’s program manager, said some of the additional programs will include more children’s storytimes and increased offerings for teenagers.

“We’re planning more pajama time storytimes in the evenings because those are always a hit,” she said. “We’re also offering a teen advisory board [starting this week] to help us plan more teen programs in the evenings.”

Added Kight: “Of course, the extended hours have given us more time for students to come in and do homework and work together on projects, those types of things.”

He said in order to accommodate the change, staff members were given the option of working additional hours.

“What we’ve done is increased the hours of existing staff, so some of our 20-hour staff actually went to 30 hours … we gave them the option and they chose to do that,” he said.

Kight and Bradley said they are pleased to be better able to meet the community’s needs.

“We just love our patrons. They really do support what we’re doing and we really love our county commissioners for allowing us this additional funding,” Kight said.