DC
09/19/2011 04:48 pm ET | Updated Nov 19, 2011

D.C.'s Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library Cutting Sunday Service

WASHINGTON -- The latest casualty of the District of Columbia's cost-cutting measures: Sunday hours at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library downtown.

The library, currently the only District library facility open on Sundays, will abandon its 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. hours starting Oct. 2.

According to DCist, the closure comes as a direct result of District of Columbia budget cutting, which included an $800,000 cut for the D.C. Public Libraries' 2012 fiscal year. The closure, the library said in a statement, was "the least painful option."

In April, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray admitted to the D.C. Council that this is a "budget that is painful ... but provides a foundation for the future." The full budget, available here, also includes some positive provisions, including renovations at Cleveland Park's library branch.

Library patrons have already voiced their displeasure with the Sunday cuts. In June, The Washington Informer spoke to Larry Branch, 37, one of several library regulars that stand in line on Sunday mornings to sign up for the library's computers, which offer sessions up to one hour and 10 minutes.

"I come here on Sunday because there is not much to do on that day," said Larry Branch, 37. "You can either go to church or stay at home. When I am here, at least I have something to do."

Branch, a Southeast resident, said that he visits the main branch to use the computers for job searches and personal use. The computers are located throughout the branch and are free to the public.

Other public libraries in the area continue to have Sunday hours. In Maryland, this includes several Montgomery County branches, and in Virginia, libraries in Fairfax County and Alexandria.