FFRF keeps library doors open in Nevada (March 12, 2012)

The Washoe County Library System in Reno, Nev., will be open during Easter next year.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, along with a local complainant, took issue with the library’s holiday closure policy. Prior to FFRF’s involvement all Washoe County Libraries were closed each Easter Sunday, even libraries that had typical Sunday hours. FFRF Staff Attorney Rebecca Markert wrote to Library Director Arnie Maurins on Feb. 16: “Easter is neither a federal holiday nor a Nevada state holiday. It is unconstitutional and inappropriate for a public library system to close on Easter.”

FFRF learned that library employees are forced to make up the hours they missed for the mandatory shut-down on Easter by working at another branch or to use their annual leave time. “Government employees should not be inconvenienced or punished so that Christian employees can celebrate a holy day,” asserted Markert.

Maurins replied on March 12, assuring FFRF that the policy will change in the future and staff would be directed to “take the necessary steps to enable libraries with Sunday hours to be open on Easter. . .” 

Freedom From Religion Foundation