Libraries Expand Hours

From the Bridgeport Public Libary:

City Librarian Scott Hughes announced today that the Bridgeport Public Library plans to provide seven days of service for the first time since 1989. Extended library hours will begin as early as Saturday, October 15th when all four neighborhood branches will be open from 1-5 pm. The Main Burroughs-Saden Library will have new Sunday hours, from 1-5pm, that will begin on October 16th. The Library’s bookmobile has already begun scheduled visits to complement expanded services.

Despite funding cuts, library hours were expanded in 2009 resulting in a 20% increase in library usage along with a 15% increase in readership.

On November 3, 2009, Bridgeport voters approved the first library operating referendum in Connecticut state history by a 2-1 margin to enable the Library to sustain services. The Bridgeport Public Library Board of Directors continues to pursue ongoing efforts to further improve collections and services in accordance with the comprehensive long range strategic plan it adopted on November 17, 2009.

Commenting on the additional hours of service, Jim O’Donnell, President of the Library Board of Directors, stated, “We are so pleased, in the face of all the administrative challenges presented, to finally be able to open our doors seven days a week. These additional hours will give patrons more opportunities in these difficult economic times to use the essential services provided by our libraries. All of us connected with the Library are grateful to the Bridgeport community who recognize the priceless value of our libraries expressed by the overwhelming support of the referendum. Being able to use the Library in person, and not just on-line, any day of the week is just one of the many ways the Bridgeport Public Library is working to be there for you.”

Beginning the weekend of October 15, 2011, the Main Library hours at The Burroughs-Saden Building will be Mondays 10am-6pm, Tuesday thru Thursday 10-8pm, Fridays and Saturdays 10am-5pm and Sunday 1-5pm. Newfield and Old Mill Green will be open Monday, Friday, and Saturday 1-5pm, Tuesday and Thursday 10am-6pm, Wednesday 12-8pm. Black Rock and North End will be open Monday, Wednesday and Friday 10am-5pm, Tuesday and Thursday 12-8pm, and Saturday 1-5pm.

For more information on the Library’s programs and service contact the Bridgeport Public Library at 203.576.7403 or go to the Library’s homepage at



  1. This has more to do with the fact the library had to return unused money to city because it didn’t use all the ‘mil’ they so desperately needed to add onto our taxes. If they don’t use it, they won’t get it again.

    1. Commend Scott? Are you kidding? Scott is nothing more than a puppet for the board that is self perpetuating and self appointing. Scott is often seen walking around aimlessly either downtown or Black Rock popping into bars or coffee shops. When Scott is working, find which branch he is at and head to the nearest watering hole and you will find him. Scott now has an assistant who does all the work he was hired to do.

  2. OIB readers and Burman,
    Glad you raise this subject. Bill did increase the tax rate a bit and then turned around and pinned the entire 1 mil increase on the Library.
    Finch did not much like the voters’ approval of the funding for the Library. That was a signal defeat for him and his operatives. The Library had received flat funding for several years before the referendum, so you are right, their budget at about $4 Million was less than their current $6 Million funding. But it is easier for Bill to gloss the details and scapegoat the entire increase on THE LIBRARY.
    Follow the story forward though and it stays interesting. In 2010 at budget time, the Library Board did not show up at the B & A meeting. They had budgeted to fund increased staffing levels as well as for the cost of creating two new/renovated facilities in the East End and East Side in fashion similar to the updated Black Rock Library.
    Fast forward to a Friday night B&A meeting in “budget time” 2011 where Scott Hughes, Library Exec, and a half dozen of his Board appeared. We learned Sue Brannelly, a member of B&A, had been identified as “liaison” to the Library Board, but her attendance or visits with the Board had been spotty at best. Tom Errichetti, of the Library Board, impressed me in identifying very specific financial planning that had salaries, benefits for new people and principal and interest allocated to cover bonding costs for two new Libraries, the B&A was interested in minutiae almost to the level of paper clips.
    One of the Council co-chairs informed the Library Board “planning funds” in the range of $150-250,000 must be requested from the City before bonding for projects could proceed, though the Library Board seemed to feel that they had already crossed the “planning phase” by their own efforts. As a member of BOB-2011 (Budget Oversight Bridgeport-2011) I was personally impressed by the financial preparation and acumen of this group more than any other that appeared before B&A this year. Nine months into the fiscal year 2010-11 the Library group reported the difficulty of securing staff approvals (five sign-offs required before hiring) from the City of which the B & A group professed ignorance but pledged assistance.

    As an observer of the City money process, it was disappointing to see how inattention, incompetence, or, possibly, motives of revenge could work to undermine the mandate of the electorate and the desires of the Board to provide new library facilities and more open hours across the City. Voters provided Library funding, the Library Board is responding to community wishes with policy and planning that allow the staff to increase hours of service, adapt to technology and open attractive branches in two other parts of the City.

    Nothing had come to my attention since April, until the announcement about enhanced hours. Heck, it’s only five months since then and: Surprise, it’s Bridgeport!


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