The Port Chester – Rye Brook Public Library board will discuss tonight whether to restore the hours of operation that were cut this month. That was the string attached by Port Chester trustees last night when they approved a $23,000 increase in funding over the next year.
The elimination of Saturday afternoon and Tuesday evening hours put the library below the minimum hours set by the state. Taking that action was no political stunt, as one trustee suggested, library board member Paul Zaccagnino said today. The library, funded mainly by Port Chester and Rye Brook, has come close to eliminating hours in past years, and once was saved from doing so by a board member’s donation, he said.
Port Chester Trustee Sam Terenzi questioned how the $23,000 increase, which was deferred during the village budget process and held in contingency, could determine such a major service cut in a $1.5 million library budget. The library says it has little it can cut other than labor costs, i.e., staff hours.
Restoring hours has been the library’s main goal, Zaccagnino said, though the decision will come tonight. “I’m pretty confident that we can,” he said.
For more on the consequences of below-minimum library hours, see this story.