Utica, NY (WIBX) - Citing a reduction in funding, the Utica Public Library is cutting back on it's hours of operation. Instead of being open until 8 PM weeknights, the Library will close at 5:30 PM on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. It will remain open until 8 PM on Mondays and Tuesdays.  The new hours take effect January 2nd.

According to Joyce Astafan, the Assistant to the Library's Director, The Utica Public Library has lost over $600,000 in total local funding since 2008 and operating costs continue to escalate.  She states in an email the the WIBX Newsroom that Oneida County was forced to reduce its allocation to the Library in 2012 and that  the Utica Common Council eliminated City funding of the Library in its 2012-13 budget.

Astafan's email went on to say that even though the Library continues to receive funding through the tax levy that was approved by Utica City School District voters in 2010, the subsequent reduction in funding from other local sources has made it impossible to retain the current hours. The Library had been open until 8 PM on weeknights. She concluded her email by stating that the Library is actively seeking alternative ways to fund these hours in order to return to a more complete schedule as soon as possible.