A lot of public services are being cut around the country, I’m sure, as municipalities run out of money. However, I think we in North Las Vegas have a uniquely extreme situation.
Everyone knows that this has been the hardest hit area in the whole country–last month, in an unprecedented move to slow the financial hemorrhaging, our city council declared a state of emergency.
As debates continue about union contracts, recreation centers, and public services in general, one desperate act by local leaders has hit my family especially close to home.
They cut the library’s hours.
This is really only a minor inconvenience, sure, and other library districts have cut their hours, also, but the result here seems acutely sad to me, and not just because my family loves the library so much.
North Las Vegas has three library branches. Two of them are now open only five days a week; each of those branches is only open 47 hours each week now. Let me put it this way: a single person could easily work every hour their place of business is open. Imagine that.
But the third branch–the one closest to my home–is only open four days a week. To phrase that differently, we are at a point where a major metropolitan library branch is only able to function just barely more than half a week. It’s only open for 37 hours every seven days.
That’s a part-time job.
You may or may not care about the library, but any foundational institution being reduced to this is a crying shame.