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Children's Department Cuts Hours At Kanawha County Library's Main Branch In Charleston

Reported: Jan. 2, 2014 10:09 AM EST
Updated: Jan. 2, 2014 12:57 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Jeff Morris) -- The Kanawha County library’s main branch in Charleston is reducing the hours for the children’s department and will close the Technology Center on the second floor until further notice.

Staff resignations and retirements have affected the library’s ability to maintain hours of operation at the current level in the two departments, according to a news release from the department. The changes will take effect Jan. 6.

The children’s department will be reducing service hours from 64 to 48 hours per week. The new schedule will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

“These hours preserve public access to the extent possible and keep most scheduled children’s programming intact, and are sustainable given current staff levels,” Alan Engelbert, library director, said.

Terri McDougal, head of Children’s Services, said the library will continue the Tuesday and Wednesday morning story times, Playgroup on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month, and Toddler Exploration, depending upon staffing levels.

“We believe that it is important to continue these programs due to our commitment to early literacy,” McDougal said.

Two children’s programs will be affected by the new service hours. The library will no longer be able to offer the Books ‘n’ More story time program at 1:15 p.m. Thursdays and the Tuesday evening Family STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program will be moving to Saturday.

Until further notice, the library also will be unable to staff the Technology Center on the second floor of the main branch. The Technology Center will only be open for special public programs that involve the use of multiple computers.

Englebert said library officials “regret having to take these actions and hope at some point to be able to restore service at all branches and all departments by recruitment of necessary staff.”



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