Calls to keep libraries open seven days a week grow in Winnipeg

It’s been years since Winnipeg libraries were open seven days a week, but now some Winnipeggers are calling for the extended hours to make a comeback.

Taking his grandkids for a swim at Bonivital pool on Friday, Ed Alexiuk has learned the importance of city facilities in keeping kids entertained.

“As a new grandfather, all of a sudden it becomes important to me because we are taking them to various things,” he told CTV News.

Likewise, many Winnipeggers rely on the library for a variety of services, including to access the internet and have a place to work. They’re among the growing number of people asking the City of Winnipeg to review the hours of operation of city facilities.

“If the city could afford it, I certainly think it would be a good thing. I think promoting more usage of these facilities for people who don’t otherwise have access,” René Varone told CTV News.

Under the current hours, four of the cities 22 libraries are open on Saturday and none are open on Sunday. Eleven libraries are closed three or more days a week.

In a statement to CTV News, the City of Winnipeg said, “Winnipeg public library branches are currently operating on a summer schedule. The summer hours, which run from Victoria Day to Labour Day, have been in place for decades.”

It went on to say, “following Labour Day, the winter schedule resumes opening hours on Saturday at all 20 library branches and on Sunday at six branches.”

With a municipal election looming, those wanting a change in hours are looking to mayoral candidates to add it to their platform.

“I would give a thumbs up to anyone in power that would encourage and increase the opportunities for people like us to use these facilities,” Alexiuk said. 

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