GOSHEN — After months of discussion, the Goshen Public Library Board voted Tuesday to cut back its hours of operation.
Beginning in September, the library will lose a total of seven-and-a-half hours during the week. The weekend will actually see a total increase of one hour.
The library will be open from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. It will also open at 10 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, but will close at 6 p.m. and 4 p.m. respectively.
GPL will not open until 1 p.m. on Tuesdays but will remain open until 8 p.m. During the school year, it will also open at 1 p.m. on Sundays then close at 5 p.m.
Originally, the board had proposed that the library delay opening on Mondays until 1 p.m. and open at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays.
During deliberations at its meeting Tuesday afternoon, however, the board decided to swap the opening times of Mondays and Tuesdays, citing both staff and resident concerns.
“No matter where we cut or how we cut, we’re going to affect somebody,” noted Tim Hoogenboom, president of the library board. “We can’t make it painless for all patrons and staff.”
When it came time to make a decision, the board decided the combination of successful Monday morning children’s programs, interlibrary loan deliveries and the number of check-ins and check-outs outweighed the consistency of having the library open at 1 p.m. on successive days.
The board made note that the ability to tinker with the new hours is there. “It’s not impossible to go back and change it if it isn’t working,” Hoogenboom added.
Library director Andy Waters also added that the reduction in hours would not mean a decrease in staffing, a misconception he said he encountered when speaking with residents about the proposed slash in hours.