Washoe County Libraries Add Hours, Downtown Goes 7 Days
Good news for Washoe County Library lovers. They'll be open longer hours with big plans for the downtown location. John Potter reports on a long-awaited comeback.
9 long years after the Great Recession, local libraries are finally getting their hours back. As Washoe County Library Director Jeff Scott told us, “We've been slowly climbing our way back to normal hours, pre-recession hours…and that provides better service for people using the library during the week."
The recession years were dark times at the downtown Reno branch…literally. The lights were off and the doors were locked at there every Friday, Saturday and Monday at one point. The library system's budget cut was cut by almost half back then. Now with our thriving local economy, they're finally running on all cylinders again. It took a long time to get back to 7 days a week downtown, because library funding isn't only the first to be cut, but also the last to restore. As Scott told us, “It's difficult, because from a county perspective, it's not a mandated service."
On the way to the downtown branch is new carpet, lighting, redesigned walls, new furniture and a new digital lab. It all brings a smile to librarian Mark Tiar, who told me, "Books were my escapism as a child." He started coming to the library when he was 6 years old: "My mom would often take me to the old Stead library when we first moved to Reno, for storytime and to check things out." Now, he enjoys working at one, and watching the new kids doing just what he did, "After school, here to get stuff for their homework. Whatever the case may be, they appreciate the place."
The new longer hours go into effect next Monday (1/7) at the Downtown Reno, Duncan/Traner, Incline Village, and Sierra View Libraries. Click the full schedule below: