TACOMA, WASH— Tacoma Public Library will start 2020 standardizing hours of operations at all eight of its brick-and-mortar locations. On Thursday, Jan. 2, TPL’s Main Library, located at 1102 Tacoma Avenue South in downtown Tacoma, will align its hours with the rest of the library system under the One System, One Schedule campaign.
Currently, downtown’s Main Library operates on a different schedule from its system counterparts: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. However, on Thursday, Jan. 2, it will adjust its operating hours to match the rest of the library system: 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. No staff hours are being reduced.
“The schedule that Main has operated on does not leave staff time to prepare for the day,” explained Main Library Manager Beverly Choltco-Devlin. “By aligning our hours with the larger system’s, we will gain valuable time for communicating critical information to staff, for regular staff meetings (with Main Library staff as well as colleagues across the system), and for training, not to mention the tasks we perform to support library operations across the system, and to ready this building – by far the largest of TPL’s branches – to serve our patrons.”
Although this change represents a decrease in public service hours at Main, libraries increased service hours dramatically in 2019 thanks to funding granted by Tacoma’s City Council. In January, TPL added Sunday afternoon hours at three branches, Kobetich, Moore, and Wheelock, from 1–5 p.m. during the school year, adding 12 service hours weekly. In September, TPL opened a Microlibrary at Metro Parks Tacoma’s Eastside Community Center, increasing access to library services by 112 per week.
“As we work to continue to expand services throughout Tacoma, we need to look at how to work more efficiently. Part of this is investing time and resources into our staff. Providing opportunity simply to communicate is critical for the efficient operation of the libraries, and by providing equal access to professional development and training that other branch library staff already enjoy, this change will result in a better patron experience overall,” said Tacoma Public Library Director Kate Larsen.
“An important benefit to standardizing TPL’s hours across the system is ease of communication with our patrons,” continued Larsen. “With one set of hours, we hope to eliminate existing confusion about the library’s hours of operation. It’s now much simpler to plan to integrate library visits into a busy household’s routine.”
Tacoma Public Library has eight brick-and-mortar branches throughout Tacoma, and is the first library system in Western Washington to open a Microlibrary. Learn more at tacomalibrary.org.
About Tacoma Public Library:
The Tacoma Public Library serves the Tacoma, Washington, community with eight branches, one Microlibrary at Eastside Community Center, and access for all community members to resources, services, and programming. Learn more at tacomalibrary.org.
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