Uniform Opening and Closing Procedures

Prologue: Library users have many expectations concerning library service. One of the basic expectations is that libraries will open and close according to posted schedules. By adhering to posted schedules, the Library shows respect and concern for our patrons’ needs, while at the same time communicating that finances prevent us from offering more temporally expansive services. The following policy formally acknowledges this fact and provides guidance for meeting this basic expectation of our users.


General Policy: Each library will physically open and close its doors at the time announced in the library schedule. Libraries may, of course, open earlier and stay open later depending on circumstances and service exigencies.


Availability of other library services prior to closing: Each library should endeavor to provide as many services as possible until the library closes. It is obvious, however, that large physical operations such as Main Library bookstacks, the Undergraduate and Grainger libraries, and others may have to curtail or close some services prior to physically closing. Examples of these services are photocopying machines, and circulation and references services. In cases where these services will cease prior to closing, each library should clearly post warning signage to alert patrons to this fact. Another service oriented alternative is to stagger work shifts so that staff may be present in the library 15 minutes after closing to close down.


Internal Library Services: Just as patrons expect public service units to be open at the times posted, so too do individual libraries expect that service units internal to the Library be available to provide service from 8:30-5:00 M-F. These same guidelines should therefore apply to these internal service units.


At times it may be necessary to accommodate patrons and library staff beyond the limits specified in each library and internal service unit in order to provide exceptional library service. Library faculty and staff should make every effort to meet this level of reasonable expectation by our patrons and our own staff.


Adopted by the Administrative Council on Oct. 1, 2001

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