Hugh Embry Branch Library now open again on Mondays

A ribbon-cutting was held at Hugh Embry Branch Library on Oct. 29 to celebrate the fact that, once again, the library is open on Mondays.

The facility, at 14215 Fourth St., is one of four libraries across Pasco County where Monday hours have been restored.

Pasco County Commissioner Ron Oakley is joined by others during the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Oct. 29 to celebrate the restoration of Monday hours at Hugh Embry Branch Library. (Brian Fernandes)

The others are the Hudson Branch Library in Hudson, the Regency Park Branch in New Port Richey and the Land O’ Lakes Branch in Land O’ Lakes.

Pasco County Commissioners voted in 2010 to reduce library operating hours because of plummeting revenues during the Recession. Gradually, it has been adding hours back to libraries.

Pasco County Commissioner Ron Oakley, who represents District 1, did the honors of cutting the ribbon during the festivities at the Hugh Embry Branch.

He also shared his thoughts about the vital role that libraries play in community life.

“You see not only older people in there, but young people and families – that’s very important to me,” Oakley said.

Many people need the services the library offers, said Angelo Liranzo, the Hugh Embry Branch manager. People visit the library to check out books, but they also come to work on school assignments, conduct research for job searches, or join in the library’s recreational programs.

With the restoration of funding, the Hugh Embry Branch is now open on Mondays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The additional hours allow increased access to the amenities that the library provides.

For instance, patrons can use a program called Freegal — implemented this year — to stream and download music legally onto their personal devices.

Films and e-books also can be conveniently transferred to laptops, tablets and smartphones with software like Kanopy and Hoopla.

There are also launchpad tablets that kids can use to play games, which help teach subjects, such as math and science.

“One of the great things about libraries is that we try to find ways to make learning seem like fun,” Liranzo said.

After Oakley concluded his remarks, those attending the celebration were able to enjoy refreshments and live music.

Published November 7, 2018

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