Library finds a way to meet mounting demand for services
■ Dennis Fletcher / Contributed
What do you do when faced with limited hours and staff but high community demand? The team at Hemet Public Library has tackled this problem through creative thinking and innovative solutions.
“With only nine staff members, self-service has been the key to our success,” said Hemet Public Library Director Kathye Caines. “Solutions such as self-service checkout and computer and print management free up staff to be able to present creative programs and deliver services that would otherwise not be possible.”
Many of these services were covered last week in our article about the Hemet Public Library golf fundraiser at Golden Era Productions golf course. Nevertheless, they include a resume review service, genealogy research room, children’s story telling, and teen reading program.
EnvisionWare’s product called 24-Hour Library provided a perfect answer for the library team delivering services more efficiently. It permits library cardholders to have 24/7 access to books and materials during busy periods and when the building is closed. With building hours limited due to funding (the library is only open Wednesday through Saturday), this allows the community greater access to print and electronic holdings.
“We have a very active community of library users,” Caines reports. “So self-service is key to making certain our staff can meet their needs as effectively and efficiently as possible. The 24-Hour Library enhances service when the library is open and extends our operating hours when the building is closed. This changed our hours of operation from Wednesday through Saturday to where we are now open to the community 24/7.”
The 24-Hour Library is located outside, to the right of the front door of the library. It provides access to almost 350 books and DVDs. With the 24-Hour Library, patrons can also select and place holds on materials, search the online catalog and library programs, and return materials at their convenience.
“The 24-Hour Library was funded with Development Impact Fees specifically designated for Library services or programs,” says Caines. “We were able to provide this service without tapping into General Fund money.”
In addition to the 24-Hour Library, 95 percent of the circulation from within the Library building is handled by easy-to-use self-service checkout stations.
“Our patrons are enjoying the freedom of accessing library services when they need them,” concluded Caines. “The 24-Hour Library enables patrons to access their items available at their convenience, regardless of building hours.”
The library is open Wednesday through Saturday and closed Sunday through Tuesday
Wednesday – Thursday
9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Friday – Saturday
9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Hemet Public Library
300 E. Latham Ave.
Hemet, CA 92543
Phone: (951) 765-2440