Hours cut at Tift County Public Library because of funding

Aquila Hayes. (Source: WALB)
Aquila Hayes. (Source: WALB)
Val Vanags. (Source: WALB)
Val Vanags. (Source: WALB)

TIFTON, GA (WALB) - The largest public library in Tift County is having problems with funding and because of that, it had to change its hours of operation.

The chairman of the library said that cutting back on hours was necessary to help keep the library afloat.

Aquila Hayes said she comes to the Tift County Public Library at least two or three times a week.

"I like to come on the weekends, early in the morning, just to relax and do some work on my computer. Or maybe like Wednesdays and Thursdays, I think when they stay open later," said Hayes.

But starting July 1, those hours will change. It's because the library has had some problems with funding according to its chairman.

"We have never had any increases in the last 10 years from the city or the county," said Tift County Public Library Chairman Val Vagans.

With a lack of increases, the library was forced to change its hours.

"We decided that we would back off on Tuesdays and Thursdays for two hours, instead of staying open till 9 o'clock because we really don't get a lot of business between 7 and 9," explained Vagans.

Vagans said that the time change would save them close to $50,000 a year.

"We still would have to take money out of that slush fund to make ends meet. What we've had to do is every year go into the slush account that we had and pull money out to cover expenses," said Vagans.

Vagans said every year they get the same amount of money from the city and county, but it still isn't enough, which lead to them cutting the hours.

"I feel like it's going to have an impact on the people that actually need this. Because it's a lot of students and a lot of children that come here to get their work done on the computers and just stay out of trouble and stay in a safe environment," said Hayes.

Though Vagans said they aren't sure what they are going to do about the funding, so far, they hope changing the hours will make a difference.

The new hours are as follows:

  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Thursday: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Closed Sunday.

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