Last night the El Cerrito City Council unanimously approved greatly expanded hours for the El Cerrito Library as a part of their budget update process.
Contra Costa County provides each library in the County system with a basic 35 open hours per week. For years this has been the schedule in El Cerrito. Starting some time after July 1, the City of El Cerrito will join many other cities in the county who add City resources so that the library can be more available to families, children, teens, and seniors. This increased City funding will allow the El Cerrito Library to be open a total of 50 hours each week, a 42% increase over current service levels.
While we were not quite able to get voter authorization for a new library last November, this change will make library service much better in the meanwhile for everyone in our community.
While the exact new library schedule has yet to be determined, it is expected the library will be open seven days a week for a total of 50 hours per week. We expect there will be Sunday service from 1 pm to 5 pm and 46 hours of service over the other six days.
As Council Member Greg Lyman said at the Council Meeting, “With this change, now everyone can be sure that if they go to the library between 1 and 5 pm any day, the library will be open. Some days it will be open a bit earlier and some evenings it will be open until 8, and between one and five every day it will be open. This will be a great improvement in service.”
As soon as the Library is able to hire and train staff to implement the new library schedule, we will let you know when the new hours will start!
Both members of our community and the El Cerrito Library Foundation have been encouraging the City to provide additional hours at the library. We thank City Council members Greg Lyman, Janet Abelson, Gabriel Quinto, Paul Fadell, Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto, City Manager Scott Hanin and Assistant City Manager Karen Pinkos for their leadership and unanimous support of this important improvement in library access and service.