Helpful Information for Meeting Minimum Public Library Standards

Hours

Each library...is open the following hours:

Population Minimum Weekly
Hours Open
Up to 500 12
500-2,499 20
2,500-4,999 25
5,000-14,999 35
15,000—24,999 40
25,000-99,999 55
100,000 and above 60

WHY ARE MINIMUM WEEKLY HOURS IMPORTANT?

A good library is accessible to the community. Standard 7 requires that each public or free association library be open a fixed schedule of minimum weekly hours open on a 52-week basis. The minimum number of weekly hours open is linked to the size of the population the library is chartered to serve. Minimum weekly hours open means the fewest number of hours the library is open to the public every week during the year.

Many public libraries exceed these standards because the community, library board and library staff recognize that the number of hours of public service leads to greater service to and use by the public. While libraries may consider expanding public service hours during some parts of the year to meet increased library user needs, Standard 7 requires that each library also maintain the fixed schedule of minimum weekly hours open on a 52-week basis.

The library should post the days and the hours when the library is open in a prominent location and include hours open in printed information describing the library and its services.

Some communities, such as summer resorts, experience a large influx of population for a part of the year. Although not required, resort community libraries should consider expanding public service hours to meet increased library user needs during these times.

WHAT ABOUT EVENINGS, WEEKENDS AND HOLIDAYS?

Library hours should include morning, afternoon, evening and weekend hours based on actual and potential library user needs. The standards do not require a library to open on legal holidays or Sundays. In a week where a portion of the library's fixed schedule of minimum weekly hours open falls on a legal holiday, the library may fall below the minimum weekly hours open requirement for that particular week.

HOW DOES A LIBRARY COUNT THE HOURS IF IT HAS BRANCHES?

Minimum weekly hours open means the fewest number of hours the library is open to the public every week during the year. A library with more than one service outlet may use the total non-overlapping hours of all the library's service outlets to meet the minimum weekly hours open requirement. Libraries should try to schedule different hours of service at outlets if possible.

WHERE CAN THE LIBRARY GO FOR HELP?

Consult the library system for help in analyzing library user needs and deciding the hours that best meet varying library user needs.

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Last Updated: December 13, 2018
December 13, 2018December 13, 2018December 13, 2018December 13, 2018