Coastal Branch Library may reopen on Saturdays

Published: Friday, August 16, 2013 at 09:29 AM.

Even though the commissioners were looking at the possibility of reopening the library prior to the letters and petition, Meadows said they did make a difference.

"The money was not in the budget to begin with, but through moving things around, we found enough," she said. "The people have spoken."

Library Director Dan Owens said the Saturday closings occurred during the budget hearing at the first County Commission meeting of September 2009, when all libraries began operating five days a week.

"I was given the impression it was to save money," said Owens. "At the same time we started experiencing a decline in people using library, but we have seen a decline since 1999. In 2011, there were no funds for books and materials."

Coastal Branch Library is located at 437 Greenway Trail in Santa Rosa Beach, just off U.S. Highway 331S. Phone 267-2809 for information. Its current hours of operation are Mondays from 9 a.m. - 8 p.m.; Tuesday - Friday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.; and closed Saturday and Sunday.

The vote should come before commissioners at their first meeting in September.

"Often, the community cannot visit the library during the week due to their busy schedules," said Friends of the Library board member Lynn Wesson. "Area teachers assign student research which can be found in our library reference section and on library computers. High school and college students often work after school and cannot get to the library except on weekends. Since many students and adults do not have computers, the library may be their only option. Further, adults and teens alike use the computers to seek and apply for jobs.”

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