Saturday dilema

There had been quiet rumors for a couple of weeks. Then, last Saturday we got the word: the mayor ordered that all the branch libraries remain open on Saturdays through June.

While patrons have openly rejoiced, this sent staff into a tizzy. I already have plans for two of the five Saturdays. Most everyone else is in a similar position.

And of course, the rumors went from hushed whispers to open speculation. Would the mayor include Saturday hours for July and August in the 2007–08 budget?

The proposed budget was released today. Yes, it includes full Saturday hours for every branch of the public library in June, July and August. Apparently, it’s the first time in 50 years. This, after the previous mayor, a former president of the Urban League, routinely cut hours. Starting with Sundays, then Saturdays, then even weekdays, the previous mayor cut and cut and cut from the library.

This mayor, the former police chief, has begun restoring them.

Leaving the political observations behind, I have really mixed feelings about working Saturdays all summer.

On the one hand, it means I don’t lose roughly $50 a week in income. On the other hand, I’ve looked forward to having regular weekends through the summer ever since I started working at the library. I’ve always worked Saturdays through the “season”. I’ve always had them off in the summer. I’ve been looking forward to a extra day of cycling every week this summer. I’ve come to enjoy my life for relative leisure, even though it’s also meant a life of relative poverty.

But it’s also a couple of hundred dollars a month. And interestingly, if I either work or don’t use my vacation hours on the weekend of the crit, my vacation hours cover all other planned time off in the summer. I may have to take another Saturday off in July though. CBC may be coming to visit.

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