Library to stay closed on Sundays
Written by By DAVID DUPONT Sentinel Staff Writer
Wednesday, 26 August 2009 11:11
The Wood County District Public Library in Bowling Green will remain closed on Sundays.
Facing a grim forecast for state funding, the library's board of directors this morning agreed with Library Director Elaine Paulette to continue the current reduced hours schedule through the end of the year.
Paulette conceded that Sundays are "very popular" with patrons, especially families, but given the reduction in funding from the state, other hours would have to be cut in order to accommodate Sunday hours, she said. "Staffing seven days a week is very difficult."
One option would have been to open an hour later, at 11 a.m., on most mornings.
The library staff looks at circulation figures to get a sense of when the library is being used, but that has its limits Paulette said.
"We serve so many people in so many different ways," she said, "so those may not all be reflected in circulation."
The first hour of the day, she noted, has very low circulation. That's a time she said when patrons who want quiet time to use the library's computers and read newspapers come before the arrival of children.
She also said she had reservations about constantly changing hours.
Board member Jane Robb agreed that "bouncing back and forth" with hours may confuse patrons as to when the library would be open.
Board member David Swartz said that closing on Sunday also serves "to get people's attention."
With the library expecting to get $200,000 less from the state next year, when the library would open again on Sunday is uncertain.
The library has benefited from additional donations, Paulette said. "People have been very generous, but that's a lot of deficit to make up."
The library closed for one week earlier this year.
"If we went to the voters with a levy we could restore the hours," board member Chet Marcin said.
"I'm sure we'll have more discussion on that," said board chairman Brian Paskvan.
The board also learned that the new bookmobile, which was purchased with a special grant, will be delivered early, maybe by Christmas.
The vehicle will be fueled by compressed natural gas, board member Scott McEwen reported. The library will buy its own small fueling unit.
Natural gas, he said, has "almost zero emissions."
Also, the fuel cost $2 for the equivalent of a gallon of gas.
The tank holds the equivalent of just over 15 gallons of gas and gets the equivalent of 10 miles per gallon.
Because the tank operates less efficiently when it nears empty, the effective range of the vehicle will be about 100 miles.
Paulette said that the battery pack that will come with the vehicle will allow the lights and heat to operate without having to run the engine periodically, and this will also save fuel.