NO cuts to library hours and services!

Update, Jan. 18: Join us for People's Library Hours outside branch libraries in Bucktown, Little Village and Beverly on Monday, Jan. 23 at 10 a.m.! Click here to view or download a flyer with all the details (PDF).

At the beginning of the new year, the city laid off 176 employees of the Chicago Public Libraries. Now the city says its layoffs are forcing it to close the 75 branch libraries every Monday in every Chicago neighborhood.

Click here to look up and call your alderman. Tell them, "Don't close my library -- not on Monday, Friday or anytime!"

First the city said it wanted to close the libraries two half days a week -- Monday and Friday mornings, a total of 8 hours of reduced library access for city residents. But concerned citizens said no, mounting a huge petition campaign, holding "story time" at City Hall, and calling aldermen.

Now the city says it wants to close branch libraries all day every Monday. Of course, closing on one full day is no different than closing on two half days -- a total of 8 hours of reduced library access for city residents.

Here's the kicker: The city is trying to blame library employees and their union for the Monday closure plan! That's ludicrous. Library employees didn't ask and don't want to be laid off. Library employees didn't ask and don't want to have their programs and services to the community reduced. And library employees don't want ANY reduced hours. Library closures and layoffs are the city's choice and the result of the city's budget. But they can be prevented if the city decides.

You can make your voice heard. Click here to quickly and easily look up your alderman's name and phone number. Call and tell them, "NO cuts to library hours and programs! Keep our libraries open and bring back the laid-off library employees now!"

The city's choice to close libraries and lay off library employees is being sharply criticized. The Chicago Sun-Times says aldermen are "stunned and infuriated". We have to let them know we feel the same way -- and that they can stop it from happening.

"I'm very disappointed," Alderman Nick Sposato told the Chicago Tribune. "We need our libraries. It’s one of the free things we have in the city. The seniors need it. The students need it."

More from ABC-7 Chicago:

"We want to solve the problem. The problem is 176 library employees needed to serve the city of Chicago lost their jobs as of the first of this year. The problem is that the people of the city of Chicago are facing reduced access to their libraries," said Anders Lindall, AFSCME Council 31.

Click here to look up and call your alderman now. Tell them, "Keep my library open. Bring back the library employees who lost their jobs. The people of Chicago need their libraries fully open and fully staffed."

You can also sign up here to get updates and stay involved in the fight to prevent any library closures and cuts.

AFSCME 31