Library branches to expand hours during school year

July 24, 1998|By Brenda J. Buote | Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF

Carroll County Public Library officials have announced that they will offer expanded hours again this school year.

The library system's board of trustees voted unanimously Wednesday to keep its five branches open until 6 p.m. Fridays. During the summer, the libraries close at 5 p.m.

Extended hours were offered September through May, when the libraries remained open until 6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays in response to demand. Several Eldersburg residents had asked that the library remain open later so their children could complete weekend homework assignments.

Friday evenings proved to be more popular than Saturday, said Gail Griffith, deputy director. Circulation figures were not available yesterday.

"The last hour on Friday is significantly busier than any other closing hour" because parents are stopping in on their way home from work, Griffith said. "But Saturdays are not so busy."

The library has been able to staff the extended hours by shifting employees' schedules, Griffith said. Flexible schedules are expected to be implemented again this school year.

The libraries open at 9: 30 a.m. and close at 8: 45 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Carroll County leads the state in per capita library usage. About 80 percent of its 145,000 residents have library cards.

The five branches -- in Hampstead, Mount Airy, Eldersburg, Taneytown and Westminster -- will remain open until 6 p.m. Fridays beginning the Friday after Labor Day. The expanded service will be offered until the last Friday in May.

"What our users have told us in the past is that they would like us to open earlier and stay open later," Griffith said. "Often there are people lined up at the door waiting for us to open."

Pub Date: 7/24/98

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