Southwest Public Libraries to open earlier

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Southwest Public Libraries (SPL) have resumed regular hours once again as of April 3 and will open earlier than ever in response to community needs.

The library’s full hours at both locations will be:
• Monday – Thursday: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
• Friday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
• Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• Sunday: 1 to 5 p.m.

These hours replace ones that were temporarily reduced in January due to staffing challenges posed by the Omicron surge. New regular library hours have shifted to open earlier in the day in response to popular request and analysis of community usage patterns, both pre-pandemic and current. Analysis confirmed heavy library use during daytime and afternoon hours with minimal traffic in the late evening.

“We want to serve the community how and when they need it most,” said Meredith Wickham, director of the library. “Our goal is to provide the community the most effective service possible, and after analysis, it was apparent shifting hours to open earlier in the day would better meet our patrons’ needs.”

Wickham said the library would routinely have patrons waiting to come in the doors many mornings and almost no one in the library the last half-hour or hour of the evening.
After tracking and analyzing patterns, the information was presented to the library’s board of trustees who voted for the new hours at their regular board meeting in March.

“The board is pleased to celebrate the return to a full schedule of hours alongside a full suite of services and programming,” said Janet Shailer, president of SPL’s board of trustees. “The library will be open earlier than ever now, and we invite the community to come and enjoy all that SPL has to offer.”

Prior to the adjustment for Omicron, SPL had last resumed full normal hours in fall of 2021.
SPL has steadily resumed traditional library services as health conditions have improved, and the library is currently offering a full slate of programming for all ages, both in-person and virtually; live weekly storytimes; meeting and study room use; and more. SPL’s popular annual Summer Reading Challenge will kick off June 4 this year with the highly anticipated return of live performers.

View upcoming events at swpl.org.

Southwest Public Libraries serves southwest Franklin County and surrounding areas through its two branches, Grove City Library and Westland Area Library. The library system provides access to millions of items through a consortium partnership with 17 central Ohio libraries and is currently offering an array of both in-building and no-contact services to serve the community safely and innovatively.

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