The Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Ave.

The Evanston Public Library board voted Wednesday night to dramatically increase operating hours at the main library downtown and the branch library at the Robert Crown Center.

The main library is now open 42 hours a week and the Crown branch just 30 hours a week as library operations have gradually ramped back up after a shutdown driven by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new schedule will see both libraries open on the same schedule 64 hours a week — from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

The Crown branch will also have self-service hours from 7 to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday and from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday through Sunday starting later this fall.

Meeting room usage will also resume Sept. 7 at both locations by reservation only.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.