FORSYTH COUNTY — Library-goers in Forsyth County will no longer have to memorize which branch is open on what evening.
Starting Jan. 4, all four branches will have the same hours and will be open four nights a week.
This extension of evening hours is a return to the normal 61-hour week the Forsyth County Public Library system featured until 2010, when schedules were scaled back to staff the then-new Hampton Park branch in north Forsyth.
Cumming, Sharon Forks, Post Road and Hampton Park branches will be open from 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Weekend hours will remain the same — 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday.
The change was made possible by an additional $86,000 in funding from the county government. The money will be used to give more hours to existing staff and to hire additional people.
Kristin Morrissey, a library board member, said she will no longer have to think about which branch she can visit while her children do extracurricular activities during the week.
“It’s nice to just know it will be open,” she said.
After the Post Road branch opened in west Forsyth in 2013, the 2010 cutback was even more crucial.
But in January 2014, county commission increased library funding, allowing the Cumming, Sharon Forks and Post Road branches to stay open until 8:30 p.m. — previously 5:30 p.m. — three nights a week instead of two. In addition, the Hampton Park branch could remain open that late two nights a week from one, as well as opening at 10 a.m. on Tuesday instead of 1 p.m.
Even with those later hours, all branches have been busy about 5:30 p.m. on early-closing nights, said Stephen Kight, assistance director for public services.
The board also noted that four study rooms will open in January at the Cumming branch, mirroring those at Sharon Forks.