Morinville – In response to a recent survey of library patrons, the Morinville Public Library Board has unanimously voted in favour of giving the people it serves what they want. Longer weekend hours begin Feb. 16 with an additional two hours on Saturdays on an ongoing basis. The library is hoping to have Sunday hours in place by mid-March on a trial basis until the end of June. New Saturday hours will be 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and when Sundays are added, the hours of operation will be from noon until 4 p.m.
Library Manager Isabelle Cramp said the motivation for the board’s decision was a patron survey the library conducted as part of its annual report to Municipal Affairs.
“Every year we have a lot of comments on those surveys regarding the hours of operation and how people would certainly like to see more weekend hours,” Cramp said. “This year we had a lot of comments again about extending the hours on Saturday and maybe also having some hours on Sunday. In response to that, the board has decided to extend the hours on Saturday by a couple hours and to set in place a trial for Sundays.”
Morinville Public Library Board Vice Chair Keith Norris said the Saturday hours just make sense, but ongoing Sunday hours would be determined at the end of the trial period. “Saturdays we see as a good thing, really,” Norris said. “It’s one of those things where the kids are out of school and the family is usually home. They can come down as a group and get involved in the library. They’ll have access to all of the stuff that we’ve got here: the computers, DVDs, CDs – everything. I think the Saturday extension is a good one.”
Norris went on to say the board is in favour of expanding Sunday hours during the winter months, but feel the hours would not be taken advantage of in the summer. The plan is to run Sunday hours until the end of June, access the response over the summer, and resume Sunday hours in the fall if the additional time is supported.
More time for more programs
The library has becoming increasingly busy, particularly in the area of programs being offered to patrons, since reopening last fall. Cramp said the plan is to expand those programs even further, the additional operating hours allowing more hours for different programs. “It’s come to the point now where we really have to try to juggle with our programs,” she said. “Being open longer on Saturdays and having some hours on Sundays would definitely help us expand our programs and reach a part of the population that so far have not been able to participate because people are so busy during the week.”
In addition to book clubs, knitting and quilting programs, the library will be launching a Lego and gaming clubs in the near future. The gaming club will include video games, conventional board games and even role playing card games.
The Morinville Community Library is open Monday to Thursday from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m., Fridays from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Sunday hours, when they commence, will be noon until 4 p.m.