“Our library continues to serve our diverse and changing neighborhoods and communities with services, programs, and collections so that all residents can learn, succeed, and thrive. This plan will enable us to achieve these goals,” said Mr. Davis.
While the City has worked to provide level funding for the Library, this funding has been unable for many years to support adequate staffing for the branches because of rising operational costs. This has resulted in service cuts over the years including reduced hours and days of service. And while foundation and corporate support has been generous, substantial revenue growth over the long term will be challenging.
Regarding the decision on which branches were identified for consolidation: “Each community’s needs were looked at in the context of its ecosystem of current services provided,” said Andrea Comer, HPL board member and Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee. “The restructuring will keep the Downtown Library, and Albany, Park, Dwight, Barbour, Camp Field, and Ropkins branches open. The Goodwin, Mark Twain, and Blue Hills branches will be closing and their staff will be redeployed across the system. There will be no staff layoffs with this plan.”
“This plan will enable us to provide service enhancement opportunities including additional open hours – including Saturdays, mornings and evenings-- at several locations starting in September, and additional programming in the branches. We will also be exploring expanding remaining locations, enhancing mobile services and introducing 24-hour self-service kiosks,” says Bridget Quinn-Carey, HPL’s CEO. “This plan will enable us to expand services and ensure long-term sustainability for one of Hartford’s most valued institutions.”
“The Hartford Public Library is a vital resource for children and adults alike throughout our City, and the Library’s Board of Directors has conducted an open and thoughtful strategic review that looked at usage, hours, service-levels, and the availability of public transportation,” said Mayor Luke Bronin. “While the board has made the tough decision to close branches, they have done so with the goal of expanding hours and improving service throughout the city, in order to maximize accessibility and service for all residents. I want to thank the Board of Directors and Bridget Quinn-Carey for their leadership.”
Hartford Public Library’s budget for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2017, was $10,603,956. The City of Hartford provided 74 percent of that amount with the remainder coming from grants, donations, endowment, and fines and fees. The Library has 124 employees, including full time and part time. It became a public library in 1893.
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Bridget Quinn-Carey, Hartford Public Library CEO and Greg Davis, HPL’s Board President
Hartford Public Library