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Girls Scouts win extended library hours after protest and petition

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Posted at 10:07 PM, Aug 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-26 23:31:22-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Back in May, a group of Flour Bluff Girl Scouts staged a parking lot protest because they’re not happy about their public library closing early three days a week.

Budget cuts forced the Janet F. Harte Public Library to reduce its hours back in November 2017. Since January, this group of girls made it their mission to force the city restore normal hours.

And you know what? They’re getting exactly what they want.

The Janet Harte Public Library closes at 3:30 p.m. every Monday-Wednesday, about a half hour before Flour Bluff schools are dismissed. Before November 2017, the library would close at 8:00 p.m.

“I would use it a lot, we’d go check out books there a lot,” said Lynn Harris, a Girl Scout with Troop 9635. “I’ve never really used it for homework, but I know a lot of other people would.”

Children weren’t the only ones affected. Several adults use the library’s computers, but only if they can make it while the branch is open.

“If I come in on a Monday, I’ve got to make sure I get here before 3:30, because it’s not going to be accessible,” said Tracy Crown.

The Harte library was the victim of budget cuts in 2017, when the city library department needed to cut two jobs. So why Harte, which at the time, was the one of the city’s busiest?

The Girl Scouts also started an online petition to help get the hours restored. You can find that petition by clicking here.

It is now official.

Last week at a district 4 open house on the budget, City Manager Peter Zanoni told the scouts the new budget includes money for a new full time library employee and increased hours.

According to the scout leader, Zanoni told the group he learned about their concerns when he saw our report.