7 things to know about Rochester Public Library hours and the survey that backs them up
April 25—ROCHESTER — A recent survey and other community commitments have led the Rochester Public Library to choose to keep its current hours, rather than go through the traditional summer breaks.
“We really think it’s really important to have those weekend hours,” said library manager Karen Lemke, noting that Sunday hours have been cut in previous summers. .
After reopening after a pandemic shutdown, the library created a schedule that reduced some weekday hours, but spread the typical 64 hours of operation throughout the week.
Late last year, the library sent out surveys to all cardholders with plans to adjust hours to meet needs, but Lemke said the results suggest keeping current hours.
“A lot of that was indicating that the hours we have are good,” she said, of the 3,203 survey responses received. “They work.”
The survey was followed by working with the Diversity Council to hold focus groups with an additional 66 residents, which Lemke said broadly reflected the survey results and indicated a specific need for hours. ‘summer.
As a result, the current hours – 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday-Sunday – are expected to remain unchanged throughout the year, with plans for follow-up board discussions library in December.
Here are some things to know about library hours and survey results:
1. The current schedule has an additional cost.
Hourly library staff are paid time and a half to work on Sundays, which means maintaining the schedule will affect the library budget.
Lemke said it’s unclear what the impact will be, as not all employees are paid hourly and will not receive the extra pay. She said the data will be collected this year to make budgetary and operational decisions in December.
For now, she said vacancies – including her former communications position – mean the library is able to cover the extra cost for Sunday hours this year, without the need for additional funding.
2. Nearly half of respondents prefer weekend options.
The survey asked participants to choose a single preferred day of the week to use the library.
The most popular day was Saturday, with 34% choosing it, followed by Sunday with a 16% preference.
3. Early hours are preferred.
Survey participants were also asked to choose a preferred two-hour block of service, starting at 8 a.m.
Almost a third — 30% — chose 10 a.m. to noon as the easiest time to access the library on a daily basis.
The 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. time slot comes second, preferred by 21% of survey participants.
4. People who don’t use the library always prefer Saturdays and early hours.
Lemke said it’s important to note that the recent poll had the highest non-user response ever.
“We really wanted to get feedback from non-users, because everyone in the community pays for the library,” she said.
Of the non-users who responded to the survey, she said 11% said they do not use the facility due to its hours not matching their schedules, but the majority reflected other attendees of the facility. survey, naming Saturday and weekday morning hours as the most popular. They preferred Saturday and early in the day, which matched the others.
5. Follow-up to October visits supports findings.
Library staff monitored visitation throughout October and found that the heaviest usage occurred in the first half hour after the library doors opened on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, with the big draw extending into the first 90 minutes of Saturday.
The average number of visits per half-hour period, which ranged from almost zero to 72, remained above 40 until 4 p.m. on Saturday, when it rarely exceeded that number during a 30-minute period. after 10:30 a.m. Monday to Wednesday.
6. Parking is a factor.
“The investigation was about hours, and we still have comments about parking,” Lemke said.
Current hours add 30 minutes of free parking available weekdays at nearby parking ramps, over pre-pandemic hours, but maintaining Sunday hours will provide a 12-hour weekly boost to on-duty access previous summer practices.
7. The pandemic has changed bookmobile operations.
When the library closed and the bookmobile was used to deliver more books to the community, staff opted to reduce the number of stops to extend hours at each location.
Lemke said the survey results show the change was appreciated.
“We heard loud and clear from bookmobile users that they like the longer stops,” she said, adding that the practice will continue.