The Lanesboro Public Library has long attempted to balance a tension between staffing costs for open hours vs. programs. Continuing budget constraints mean that the Library cannot continue to do both well. We have successfully increased efficiencies in the past years. For example, Library programming (except the Summer Reading Program), fundraising, and grant writing are now undertaken by the Friends of the Library and Library Board on a volunteer basis, rather than by the paid Library Director and staff.

Responses to a survey this winter indicated high satisfaction with library services (4.5 on a scale of 1 to 5) and confirmed the Library staff’s longstanding impression that open hours and library materials are a higher priority for patrons than programming. This is further corroborated by: increasing circulation, increasing use of the Library by kids, comparative demographic data from SELCO, and how busy we are, especially after school. The staff desires to focus on quality rather than quantity in the services we provide. We believe that for the vast majority of our patrons, the very reason we open our doors is to provide traditional Library services and materials; this is why we are here, it keeps us very busy, and we enjoy it!

Therefore, effective January 2nd, 2007, Library hours will be restructured, simplified, and increased (from 25 to 30 per week) in order to better meet patron needs. The main change is that instead of being open different hours on five days a week, we will be open for five hours a day, six days a week, with Monday and Saturday (9-2), Tuesday and Thursday (3-8), and Wednesday and Friday (1-6) having the same hours. We have worked very hard to take into account our mission, patrons’ wants, and circulation patterns, while at the same disrupting our current schedule as little as possible. We understand that changes can present challenges, and are hopeful that after a transition period our patrons will find this new schedule both more convenient as well as easier to remember! The Library Board supports this plan, and responses so far have been almost universally positive.

Please note: Neither the Library staffing nor budget are being increased in order to accomplish this goal. We are simply reorganizing schedules and workloads to reflect: 1) our successes in completing deferred projects and creating efficiencies over the past years; 2) our commitment to continuing to do so, and 3) our clear focus on direct patron service and collection development.

With the partnership of volunteers undertaking Library programming, fundraising, and grant writing, and paid staff undertaking direct patron service, we are excited about moving Lanesboro’s traditions of a great community Library forward in the many years to come!

Copies of the survey are available in the Library. Please contact Drue or a Library Board Member with questions, or leave any comments in the Library’s suggestion box.

We welcome your feedback on this plan, and thank you for your support!

Monday and Saturday 9 – 2 (morning focus)
Tuesday and Thursday 3 – 8 (evening focus)
Wednesday and Friday 1 – 6 (afternoon focus)