Report: NYC libraries open less than others in state

If you’re hoping to check out your local library, you don’t have much time.

New York City’s public libraries are open fewer hours than libraries in most other New York state counties, according to a survey published Thursday. The Center for an Urban Future concluded that the city’s libraries are open an average 46 hours each week, compared to 64 hours per week in Nassau and Suffolk Counties and 60 hours a week in Rockland County, among other areas.

Only 3% of New York public libraries are open seven days a week, while 90% of Suffolk County libraries open their doors every day. The only New York County with fewer library hours than New York City is Eerie County.

The report blames city officials for failing to provide New York City’s public libraries with sufficient funds, calling on Mayor de Blasio to increase library budgets in order for all public libraries in the city to stay open six days a week.

“On our watch, more branches in boroughs like Brooklyn are open on weekends, and the de Blasio administration has made a clear commitment to our city’s public libraries by baselining and increasing funding in the Mayor’s first budget last year,” the Mayor’s office said in a statement. “That means for the first time in years, branches across the city are not facing annual pressures to cut hours and staff.”

Compared to the 10 largest cities in the U.S., New York City has been ranked seventh in fewest hours of service, as San Antonio’s libraries lead the list with an average of 54 hours each week. Among the five boroughs, the Bronx libraries are open the most frequently, with 48 hours per week.

(Stephanie Grella)

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