Facing significant budget cuts from the state, and before local voters approved a levy, the Washington County Public Library closed its libraries on Sundays back in 2002, much to the dismay of many local residents.
While it's unfortunate it took more than 10 years to see Sunday hours return, we are glad to see the library board respond to patrons' requests for Sunday hours. Now, local residents can visit the library seven days a week.
When Sunday hours were eliminated, the library was facing significant cuts in state funding. Eventually, local voters approved a 1-mill, five-year levy for the library system in 2010. That levy generates more than $1 million a year and has been put to good use. The extra money has helped to extend the hours of some employees, and it's also helped the library address issues such as building improvements.
Add to that list the re-establishment of Sunday hours at the main library branch at 615 Fifth St. in Marietta. Library officials say it costs about $144 each Sunday to open and staff the main branch for four hours. We think it's money well spent. Sunday afternoon is an ideal time to spend at the local library, and as the weather turns cold, we think more and more people will come to the library for books, movies and all of the many services it offers.
The Washington County Public Library is an important resource for the extended community. Some come for books and research materials, others for computers and movie rentals, still others for programs and activities. Whatever the reasons people use the library, we're sure they appreciate the chance to do so any day of the week.