The City of Somerville announced today that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Somerville Municipal Employees Association (SMEA) that clears the way for the City’s East and West Branch Libraries to open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The SMEA has already ratified the change and the new hours will go into effect on November 10, 2012. This will mark the first time since the 1970s that the Somerville Public Libraries East and West Branch Libraries have opened their doors on weekends.
The MOU also adds one full-time position to library staff, a Librarian for Youth Services. The new Librarian will work three Saturdays per four-week period, as well as two evenings per week. The fourth Saturday will be covered on a rotating basis by a full-time Library employee.
“We are so pleased to be able to deliver an enhancement to library services that people have been asking for – expansion of branch hours on Saturdays,” said Director of Libraries Maria Carpenter. “Somerville loves its libraries, and the branch libraries are considered neighborhood gems. This expansion will benefit everyone from people who work during the week to visitors of these neighborhoods; for students who want a place to do homework and study near their homes; to parents who can now enjoy bringing their children to the West, East, or Central Libraries and children’s library staff on Saturdays.”
“This is the kind of good news that every mayor loves to talk about,” said Mayor Joseph Curtatone. “Libraries enrich their communities not only as crucial resources for education and entertainment, but as gathering places, and as lifelines to the digital world for those without internet access at home. This is a core city service and I’m delighted that we can expand it in this modest but useful way.”