Naperville Public Library board considers extending hours
By David Sharos For The Sun December 21, 2012 10:14AM
Updated: January 24, 2013 6:29AM
Due to public demand, the Naperville Public Library is looking at extending its hours.
Executive Director John Spears recently outlined a pilot program which would take place between March and June in order to gauge interest in the extension of hours, as well as to determine its cost.
“We have consistently heard from our patrons through interest surveys that they’d like to see us extend our hours and we discussed this issue last month with the City Council, who asked us how much it would cost,” Spears said. “People have said it would be more convenient for them if we were open more, so we’re looking at this pilot program in order to determine interest as well as the cost of extending hours.”
Spears said that the busiest hour of the entire week for the library falls between 4 and 5 p.m. on Sundays, making it the logical time segment for extension.
“We’ll be offering this pilot only at the Nichols Library and it will be staffed using people we have throughout the three branches,” Spears said. “Our hours would extend from 1 p.m. until 9 p.m. rather than the 5 p.m. closing we have now. We’ve looked at some of the neighboring libraries including Arlington Heights, Schaumburg, and Skokie and they all have longer hours than we currently do.”
If use and interest warrants, the board will look at adding the cost of the extra hours to the next budget, he said.
In other developments, library trustees viewed the final capital improvement proposal which will be forwarded to the City Council next month. Spears said the plans calls for two significant capital projects, including new carpeting in all three libraries as part of the 2014-15 budget, and new furniture, which would follow in the 2015-16 budget. Projected cost of the items is $730,000 for the carpeting and $431,000 for the furniture. “We have $250,000 in our own budget we’ll be spending on general maintenance,” Spears said. “The carpeting is significant, as we have 1.7 million visitors at our branches a year.”
Trustees also approved a new policy in materials collection which is aimed at increasing foreign language materials. Spears said the initial focus would be on Spanish materials and would later extend to other languages.