UPDATED March 7, 2014
From the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Mayor Nutter’s proposal to boost the Free Library’s budget by $2.5 million, however, could make [Liz] Heideman’s [a childrens library at the Free Library of Philadelphia] job better than it has been in a while.
In the economic downturn of 2008, [Mayor Michael] Nutter cut $8 million of the Free Library’s $41 million budget, forcing the system to eliminate 117 staff positions and many of the 54 branches to be open five days a week instead of six.
The additional $2.5 million, which Nutter announced during his budget address Thursday, would let the system hire 43 people and allow all branches to be open six days a week. Nutter called his 2008 decision of library funding “the absolute worst decision I have made in the time I have been in public office.”
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Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter will release his proposed FY 2015 budget tomorrow but KYW Radio’s Mike Dunn has learned that the budget will include money to increase hours at all branches of the Free Library of Philadelphia.
Nutter also is setting aside an extra $2.5 million for six-day service at all library branches. According to the overview, most branches now off only five-day service.
We will update this post with more when the budget is formally released tomorrow (March 6, 2014).