www.baltimoresun.com/explore/harford/opinion-talk/ph-ag-edit-library-sundays-0523-20120522,0,5343616.story

baltimoresun.com

Sunday's a good day

8:01 PM EDT, May 22, 2012

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Restoring Sunday hours at three branches of the Harford County Public Library is a good thing.

The three branches that are most likely to be reopening are Abingdon, Bel Air and one in the Route 40 corridor, according to Mary Hastler, the library director, in comments she made at last Thursday's meeting of the library board.

Opening those branches makes the most sense. Abingdon and Bel Air are busy and serve the county's population center and one in the Route 40 corridor would be more convenient for those in the eastern part of Harford County.

The Harford County Council recently passed a budget amendment allocating an additional $100,000 to the library system, making Sunday hours possible again after they were cut three years because of budget constraints.

"We are really thrilled for that budget amendment to go through and are very appreciative," Hastler said during Thursday's meeting.

Sunday hours will begin in October and follow the previous schedule of being open Sunday afternoons from October to May, when the warm weather makes it less likely for folks to spend the afternoon in a library.

Keeping libraries open more hours and making them accessible to more people are always good things. While there's more information available than ever, particularly on the Internet, more and more people are using the county library. Its usage is up as more and more patrons visit branches to use computers to go on line, borrow books, movies and music, or just to visit and maybe read a magazine or newspaper.

Libraries are places for the community to gather, and the community often needs to gather as much on Sundays as it does the other six days of the week.

"I think that's just one of the best moves they [the county council] have made this year, and it benefits the libraries enormously," Lucie Snodgrass, a library board member, said.

We agree and think many others in Harford County do, too, and will prove it by their heavy use of the libraries that are open on Sundays beginning in October.