DeKalb libraries may stay open longer

Night and weekend hours may soon be restored at several DeKalb County public libraries.

The libraries have operated with scaled-back hours for more than five years, when the Stonecrest Library opened and other branches expanded but the county government didn’t allocate money to hire more staff.

Interim DeKalb CEO Lee May's proposed midyear budget calls for spending $491,972 to hire 36 full-time library employees during the last three months of the year. Over a full year, the cost for staffing extended hours is about $2 million.

“The more hours we can offer, the better it is for folks to come in and use our services,” said Alison Weissinger, the library system’s director. “We have larger and newer libraries that aren’t open as long as they should be.”

If the DeKalb Commission approves the funding next month, the library system’s Board of Trustees would determine library hours.

Potential restoration of library hours:

  • Four neighborhood libraries could reopen on Fridays and Saturdays: Brookhaven, Embry Hills, Gresham and Lithonia.
  • Three libraries could stay stay open three hours later on Thursdays. Chamblee and Wesley Chapel libraries would keep their doors open until 8 p.m., and the main Decatur branch would close at 9.
  • A variety of libraries may add Wednesday evening hours: Clarkston, Covington, Dunwoody, Flat Shoals, Hairston Crossing, Northlake, Salem-Panola, Scott Candler, Stone Mountain, Stonecrest, Toco Hill, Tucker, and Redan-Trotti.