City officials and elementary school students on Monday gladly welcomed extended hours at Los Angeles public libraries. Libraries will now stay open later on Mondays and Wednesdays and open earlier on Fridays. Whit Johnson reports from Studio City for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Oct. 15, 2012.
Los Angeles public libraries are making a comeback. After devastating budget cuts forced the city to scale back library operations, Monday marked the beginning of expanded hours for all 73 libraries.
Libraries will be open until 8 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday nights. On Fridays, they will open at 10 a.m.
The voter-approved Measure L is responsible for the new hours. By 2014, the measure will have doubled city funding to libraries.
At a ceremony at the Central library in Downtown LA, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa lauded the libraries as the "heart and soul of literary LA" and talked about what libraries meant to him growing up.
"My mother would work late and take the bus. We had to go to the library and wait until she got home, and then we came home. The library was our after school program," said Villaraigosa, who was joined by other city officials and elementary school students.
The expanded hours are phase two of the changes spurred by Measure L. Last year, libraries reopened on Mondays.
The measure’s final phase will go into effect in 2014 when some libraries will reopen on Sundays.