Library patrons in the five-county Timberland Regional Library (TRL) service area asked for longer hours; starting September 2, they’ve got them! District-wide, 26 libraries and the Ask-A-Librarian service will add hours – a total of 58 more each week. The increased schedules come at no additional cost.
TRL administration, branch librarians and staff members gathered public comments in the libraries, at public meetings and from online surveys. They counted usage hours, studied peak use times for computers, meeting space and circulation materials. Then they got creative – shifting people and duties into longer open hours and reducing the amount of work done while libraries are closed.
Many communities will experience an increase in Saturday hours, resulting in all libraries being open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. The new schedule provides more consistent, easy-to-remember opening times and in the largest libraries an extra hour on Friday evenings.
“Libraries are at the heart of healthy communities,” Timberland Library Director Cheryl Heywood said. “They have one simple mission: to serve the public.”
“To do this,” Heywood continued, “we have to listen to our communities, understand the issues and make the best changes possible. More open hours,” she added, “is a very good change.”