We have had a few people question the change in library days/hours at the beginning of the year. This was done for a couple of reasons.
- State requirements: The state has guidelines on how many weekly and weekend hours libraries must be open if they receive state aid. If the library cannot meet these requirements they can apply for a waiver from the state. The current requirements are that they be open 45 hours per week, with 7 of those hours being on a weekend.
- Usage patterns: A record was kept all throughout the year of 2016 to determine what days and hours the public was using the library the most. The data showed that Wednesdays had the most users and that usage dropped dramatically after 5 p.m. with an overage of only 4 people a week coming into the library after that time.
Taking the data into consideration, and the operating hours of nearby libraries, the decision was made by the library board to implement new days and hours of operation. Instead of being open only four days a week the decision was made to be open Tuesday through Saturday, closing Sunday and Monday, and to be open 7 hours each day.
The new hours are:
- Sunday & Monday- Closed
- Tuesday- noon to 7 p.m.
- Wednesday & Thursday- 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Friday & Saturday- 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
How have those days and hours been working? There has been an increase of over 26% usage of the library with these new hours. Wednesdays are still the busiest, but Tuesdays are not far behind. Saturdays are the slowest, but the numbers have been climbing. The busiest hours are generally from 10-2 most days, and yes, surprisingly we do get a few people coming into the library during the 8-9 a.m. time slot!
We still do not meet the state requirements of 45 hours per week, so we have applied for a waiver for this year, but we were able to satisfy the weekend hour requirement with the new hours. We will reassess at the end of the year to see how the days/hours are working and adjusting times if there seems to be a need.