Philadelphia Free Library resumes Saturday hours at some branches
Nine Free Library of Philadelphia branches resume consistent Saturday hours starting this weekend.
Driving the news: The new Saturday service from 10am-5pm will be a regular part of the nine neighborhood branches' schedules.
- The library has hired around 300 staff members this year, which has stabilized service and allowed for the extended hours, deputy director of operations Darren Cottman, tells Axios.
Zoom in: The libraries offering weekend service were selected based on their staffing levels and are located throughout the city, per the library's website.
- The branches include Thomas F. Donatucci, Sr. Library, Lillian Marrero Library, Holmesburg Library and the Walnut Street West Library.
Of note: A 10th location, Wyoming Library in North Philly, resumes Saturday hours starting Dec. 2.
Flashback: The Free Library began offering Saturday service at some branches earlier this year through August.
- It last offered citywide Saturday hours in 2019.
Between the lines: The Free Library has struggled with limited staffing for more than a decade, which has led to reduced hours or unscheduled closings.
What they're saying: The extended hours are a "game changer in allowing for us to really provide the community what they're asking for," library spokesperson Trenton Smiley tells Axios.
- Cottman added that the new hours can offer safe havens for residents amid the city's gun violence epidemic.
What to watch: Depending on staffing levels, the Free Library is expected to offer Saturday hours at more branches starting in January.
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