Felder Challenges Sunday Shutdowns at Brooklyn Libraries

Brooklyn Public Library

Senator Simcha Felder called for a review of the decision to summarily shutter Brooklyn Public Libraries on Sundays. In a letter sent to Brooklyn Public Library President Linda Johnson, Senator Felder acknowledged the challenges of budget cuts but emphasized that necessary reductions should not disproportionately impact any specific segments of the community.

"I understand that budget cuts lead to tough choices, but we must do our best to strike a balance between fiscal responsibility and community welfare. Budget cuts cannot come at the expense of one section of the population," said Senator Felder.

Recognizing that a sweeping Sunday closure policy adversely affects many hardworking people and families with work commitments, sports schedules, and numerous other obligations including religious observance, the Senator cites concern that it effectively disenfranchises a significant portion of the population. A pragmatic solution, proposes the Senator, is to identify specific branches that can remain open on Sundays while potentially closing on Saturdays instead. This strategic shift would be cost-neutral, Felder emphasizes, while aiming to accommodate the diverse needs of Brooklyn's families and ensure equitable access to public library services.

“In these difficult economic times, when hardworking people feel jammed from all sides, our free public spaces like libraries and parks are even more important to more families. Opening several branches on Sundays, rather than Saturdays, allows families across Brooklyn more opportunities to visit the library on at least one day during the weekend,” said Senator Felder.