In mid-July, the news broke that all of NYPL’s 87 branches and four research libraries would now be open at least six days per week—service that had not been available since post-9/11 budget cuts. The increase is the result of $20.1 million in increased operational support from the City, celebrated at an event held at the Chatham Square Branch on July 14. “We are immensely grateful to Mayor Bloomberg, City Council Speaker Quinn, and all the members of the City Council for expanding access to the essential resources provided by our public libraries,” said Library President Paul LeClerc at the event. “At the very least, we can now open the doors to everyone Monday through Saturday.” At the Donnell Library Center in Manhattan, the Bronx Library Center, and the St. George Library Center on Staten Island, service has been expanded to seven days a week. NYPL’s four research libraries are now open on Mondays for the first time in five years.
The 232 additional hours of service per week in the branches and 31 additional hours of service in the research libraries are expected to attract 1.35 million library users systemwide. “Libraries are not only places of learning,” said Speaker Quinn. “They are places where you can explore the furthest corners of the globe, regardless of your economic background".
Six day service at the New York Public Library has been generously funded by the City of New York: Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor; Christine C. Quinn, City Council Speaker; and the Members of the New York City Council.