Davidson library adds hours

Beginning Monday, the Davidson branch library will be open five days a week rather than four.

Credit an outpouring of volunteer support for the extended hours of 1 to 7 p.m. Mondays.

The library had to reduce its hours and days amid county budget reductions that forced other Charlotte Mecklenburg Library branches also to cut back this year.

The system lost 183 library employees, 40percent of its staff, because of the budget reductions. Community libraries reduced hours from six days and 66 hours per week to four days and 32 hours per week.

The Davidson branch is part of a pilot effort focusing on towns that gave money or in-kind services to the library system this year. In exchange, the system agreed to experiment with using volunteers to add more hours at those towns' branches with volunteers.

Volunteers will handle behind-the-scenes chores, enabling library staffers to spend more time helping patrons, including homework assistance and children's programs.

Since the enhanced volunteer program began, Davidson library staff has added 29 volunteers, for a total of 41.

"Davidson citizens have always seen our public library as the heart of our community," Mayor John Woods said in a recent statement announcing the Davidson library's extended hours. "We are thrilled with the response to the call for volunteers to supplement the library professional staff and allow the increase in hours of operation. The sooner the better!"

The Davidson branch library's new hours: 1-7 p.m. Mondays; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; closed Thursdays and Sundays.