The Hartford Public Library (HPL) announced Wednesday it will delay the closure of three branches until the end of 2017.
In July, officials announced that the Blue Hills, Goodwin and Mark Twain branches will shut down on Sept. 5 as part of the city's ongoing plans to restructure the library system in Hartford.
As a result of public criticism, HPL will slowly limit availability at these locations, offering community events until Dec. 31.
Like other places in the state, the Hartford Public Library has fallen victim to the woes of both the state’s budget and city’s budget have led to decreased revenue—especially when compared to previous years.
In a statement to NBC Connecticut, the HPL indicates it is, “transitioning to a new and very different operational model, one that is sustainable in light of our challenging financial times, and offers more open hours, additional days of operation and enhanced outreach services in six library locations for our 125,000 residents and daily visitors to the city.”
As part of the interim service plans, HPL will allow on-site computers to remain and be operational, as well as several books and other materials, which will be available to be borrowed.
At the Goodwin branch, school and day care visits will remain on site and full computer access will be granted to visitors twice a week from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. HPL also addressed one of the main concerns with the initial sudden closing of three of the Goodwin branch by continuing to offer several adult programs and community support meetings monitored by the HPL every Saturday.
The Blue Hills branch will allow Saturday morning adult and community programs, in addition to having homework club sanctioned by the HPL twice a week after school.
The Mark Twain branch at West Middle School will assist with adult education courses along with tutoring 2 to 3 days a week while hosting and moderating events from various community groups.
Hartford Public Library will detail the transition plan on Thursday night at the Mark Twain branch at West Middle School on 44 Niles Street.