Pequot Library cuts hours under new schedule
The Pequot Library is reducing its hours of operation by six hours a week during summer months and seven hours a week the rest of the year.
Under a new schedule announced Friday and taking effect Monday, the library will be open one hour a day less Mondays through Fridays, compared to the old schedule, which remained on Pequot's website Friday.
It will be open one hour less on Saturdays during the summer and two fewer hours on Saturdays the rest of the year.
In a news release announcing the new hours, the Southport library did not acknowledge the new hours represent reductions. It said the new schedule is designed to be "more flexible" for programs, such as author lectures and art exhibits.
Pequot officials were not available Friday to discuss the new schedule, and it was unclear whether the reductions would result in reduced hours for employees or cost savings.
Under the previous schedule, Pequot was open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Effective Monday, the library will open at 10 a.m. weekdays -- an hour later -- and close at the same time.
Saturday hours during July and August had been 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. They will change to 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
On Saturdays during the rest of the year, the library will open an hour later and close an hour earlier. Previous hours had been 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. They will change to 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Pequot Library is run by a private association, but gets about one-third of its funding from the town. It is open to the public and shares some programs -- including book lending -- with the two branches of the Fairfield Public Library.
Last year, the Fairfield Public Library reduced its hours in a cost-cutting measure when its budget was cut for the last fiscal year. The hours were restored after July 1 when a new fiscal year began.
The Pequot Library has not been spared financial turmoil. Without warning this spring, the town Board of Finance abruptly eliminated $350,000 in funding for the privately run library. The cut threatened to close the library and triggered a groundswell of support for the Southport landmark, which is noted for its music programs, art exhibits and other programs.
The Representative Town Meeting in May overwhelmingly restored the town's funding for the Pequot. The library raises about $700,000 of its operating budget itself.
The library's new schedule is as follows:
Monday through Friday: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Saturday (July and August): 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Saturday (September after Labor Day through June): 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Sunday (October through April): Noon-4 p.m.
Sunday (May through Labor Day): Closed