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Downtown Houston Library Now Open on Sundays

Officials say those new hours will be a huge benefit to people who depend on the library’s services

Houston’s downtown Central Library offers a lot more than just books. There are also services like computer access and job search help along with initiatives geared toward homeless patrons.

The Central Library will have more time to offer those services now that they’re bringing back Sunday hours. They’ll be open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Assistant Director of Customer Experience Elizabeth Sargent said for the homeless in particular, the library is viewed as a safe place where they can meet with social service providers.

“Many times customers want the support, need the help, but they’re not always comfortable going into that particular social service provider’s space,” explained Sargent.

And with the searing summer heat, Sargent said the library can provide welcome relief.

“About three weeks ago we were asked to open this library as a cooling center,” added Sargent. “And we saw over a 100 people in here with very little advertisement, simply because they had to get out of the heat. They had nowhere else to go.”

The library can also serve as a lifeline for people of moderate means who need to get online. Deputy Assistant Director of Customer Experience Laurie Covington said their computers and hotspots get a lot of use.

“Our libraries themselves are one of the biggest providers of wi-fi in the City of Houston just because all of our locations have wi-fi,” said Covington. “And now we’re expanding that so you can actually have wi-fi in your pocket, take it home with you, check it out for three weeks.”

Covington and Sargent said Sundays are usually pretty busy at the Central Library.  Since it’s the only Houston public library that’s open on Sunday, students use those hours to get homework help and it also gives researchers more time to work on projects.

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Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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