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Reduction in Port Arthur Library hours detailed in front of city council

The Port Arthur Public Library will soon be operating under different hours partially due to employee safety.

City Council this week approved Library Director Steven Williams’ request to close the facility an hour earlier on weekdays and completely close on Sundays.

There was no opposition to the request; however ,one councilman did have questions.

“Steven, what’s your reasoning for wanting to change (the hours)?” asked Councilman Cal Jones. “I’m in favor of it, I just want to know.”

Williams cited employee safety and a reduction in attendance.

“Basically the reducing of hours (is) for security,” he told council members. “And also on Sundays we’re not getting the patronage count as we did in the past, especially after Hurricane Harvey. It’s basically a loss of funds with the city.”

Harvey brought up to 24 inches of rain inside the facility, resulting in more than $6 million worth of repairs that kept the facility closed for more than a year.

The new library hours, beginning Aug. 2, will be 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and closed on Sundays.

“No library in Southeast Texas is open seven days a week, except us,” Williams said. “We’re still open more than any other library in Southeast Texas, even though I’m reducing the hours.”

Services offered through the facility include career preparation, resources for college students, preparation for high school equivalency testing, classes on basic computer skills and a multitude of Spanish-language resources.

In addition, the library’s history room includes historic photographs, genealogy databases, microfilm and more.

Spanish and Vietnamese translators are available.

The library is in its final month of the Summer Reading Challenge. There will be a celebrity reader July 20 at 10 a.m., and all reading journals are due July 27.

For more information on library hours and/or services, call (409) 985-8838.