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 City Manager Letter

March 9, 2009

To the Honorable, the City Council:

In response to Awaiting Report Item Number 09-07, regarding a report on plans to eliminate Sunday library hours, please be advised of the following:

The Cambridge Public Library is open a collective total of 320 hours each week.  That is significantly more than any other community in the Commonwealth, with the exception of Boston.  In a sample of surrounding communities and comparable cities, the average number of hours open is 124.

The Main Library is open from 1-5 pm on Sundays from October through April.  Sunday is not a regular work day for members of the Cambridge Public Library Staff Association. Staff volunteer to work on Sundays and are compensated either at time and a half in pay or double time in compensatory time at the employee’s option.  

Staffing for Sundays is 11 individuals including the custodian.  The cost averages $1500 in overtime pay and 25.5 hours of compensatory time.  The compensatory time obligation represents 70% of an FTE each week at an approximate cost of $650.

As a result the cost of operating any location on a Sunday is greater than any other day of the week.  It would be impossible to add additional Sundays to our already extensive schedule without requiring new positions and new funding.




Very truly yours,








Robert W. Healy


City Manager




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