Access to Library Services

Introduction

These standards cover library hours, basic library services that should be offered, and patron access to library services.

Essential Standards

I. Standard A
"The board and the director determine the days of the week and the hours during the day to be open to provide maximum service."

The board and director need to consider their community when choosing library hours.  Who lives in the community?  Seniors?  Working people who commute?  People who work 8-5 or something similar?  Parents with small children?  After identifying the largest majorities within the community think about what hours work best for the individual groups.  The library may need to be open a combination of morning and evening hours in order to accommodate everyone.

II. Standard B
"The library is open during the week at least the following minimum hours."

Many libraries exceed this minimum because the community, the board, and the director recognize that the number of hours of public service leads to greater use by the public. A library with more than one service outlet may use the total non-overlapping hours of all outlets to meet the minimum requirement;

Population

Minimum

Desirable

less than 3,500

15

25-40

more than 3,500

30

40-50

more than 10,000

40

50-60

more than 25,000

50

60+

 

In order for the library to serve its community it is necessary for it to be open a certain number of hours. 

III. Standard C
"Library users who wish to copy materials available from non-circulating items or from computer files must have access to a photocopy machine or printer."

It is understandable that the library would wish to ensure that certain items do not leave the library.  However it is important that, where permitted under copyright laws, library users have a way to make copies of these materials in order to satisfy the user’s information needs.

IV. Standard D
"The library must have a telephone and answer telephone inquiries."

It is important for the library to maintain telephone service for those users who are not able to travel to the library and who prefer this option for contacting library staff.

V. Standard E
"The library must provide access to resources and services for patrons with disabilities."

One of the most inspiring elements of libraries is that they are open to everyone.  This includes community members who have disabilities. The library board, director and staff should make every effort to serve those with disabilities.  This includes making the library as accessible as possible as well as identifying ways to serve patrons with disabilities. 

Source: 10.102.1150G Human Resources Standards: Access