For the first time in four years, Hingham Public Library will have Sunday hours that are funded by the town.
Sunday library hours, which are typically in effect from September through April, were eliminated during budget cuts in 2008, as part of reducing the library budget.
Since that time, the funding has been supplemented by an anonymous donor through the Rhode Island Foundation, which afforded the funding for the library to remain open on Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m.
However, that donor can finally rest this year, as that funding for Sundays will once again come from the town through the library’s annual budget.
“We’re fortunate that we had selectmen and Advisory Board support going into Town Meeting to restore Sunday hours. We’re elated that we’re at that point and grateful for the Rhode Island Foundation for keeping us in the game over the last several years where it’s been rough to find funding for Sundays,” Library Director Dennis Corcoran said.
The purpose of the anonymous donation had always been to restore Sunday library hours until the town could afford to do so, Corcoran said.
“That was their sole purpose -- their incentive was to get us to increate town funding and wean away from the donor-directed grant. I don’t think whoever it was [donating this money] wanted to do this forever. It was a transitional piece, which is why it was so great, whoever it was or is recognized that it was the only way we could provide Sunday openings to the community,” Corcoran said.
“It’s almost uneventful we’ll open Sundays after Labor Day, but it feels very good that we can do this,” Corcoran said. “We’re looking forward to a period of stability going into future budget years to have Sunday be a routine.”
Sunday hours have remained important in recent years, Corcoran said, as the library does as much business in those four hours that they do in eight hours on a typical weekday.
Sundays at the library also provide an opportunity for families to explore the public facility together.
“It’s why I value it. It gives families the opportunity to participate and use the library together. It’s also nice for students to come in and use the library for resources,” he said.
According to Corcoran, the library will start moving programming back to Sundays, which will hopefully be here to stay.
Among the first programs to move will be the concert programs, which have operated on Saturdays in the meantime.
For more information on library hours or programming, visit the library website.