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Marion Moss Hubbard, the senior public information officer for the library system, sent me three documents that provide a complete picture of what’s happened to library hours over the past five years.

The first, here, is the best. It’s a history of branch library hours and how they’ve changed since 2002. But don’t worry if you, at first, don’t know how to read it. I had to stare at it for several minutes as well.

Basically, it shows the branches with the most hours at the top and demonstrates how the top has gone down.

You’ll note that only four branches of the city’s library system are open longer than 45 hours a week. Two of them, in Councilman Tony Young’s district, have remained open longer because he spent his own office’s funds on them. A third, in La Jolla, has had the benefit of private donors. The fourth, the current Central Library, used to be open 64 hours a week. It is now down to 52.

In 2004, all branches were open at least 48 hours.

You’ll need this document as a legend to find out which acronyms represent which branches in the first document.

And finally, the third document provides both current operating hours for the libraries and a little timeline showing how they changed. La Jolla’s branch library, for example, has been able to maintain many of its hours with private donations.

SCOTT LEWIS

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