Further to my earlier article about this, I have now had the following information back from the Head of Libraries, Information and Cultural Services at Dundee City Council :
"I can now provide the following information regarding the change in library opening hours, Blackness in particular.
Details of the new opening hours will be notified on the Council website from 1 March onwards, indicating that these changes will be effective from 1 April. It was felt that one month's notice was sufficient to inform whilst not leading to confusion over a perception of earlier implementation. In addition, flyers and bookmarks are being produced, which will be widely distributed throughout the network, over the same timescale.
Monday evenings were chosen to retain the 7.00 pm opening in the Community Libraries as Monday had the highest number of visitors across the network. In addition, if different late evenings had been proposed for different libraries, the savings from the exercise would not have been made, as these have been achieved through flexibility with staff timetables.
In Blackness Library in particular, during the course of the survey, the statistics were as follows:
• At 5.00 pm on Mondays, there was an average of 16 people in the library. At 6.00 pm, there was an average of 22 people (this figure includes the 16 people who were in for the yoga class and to extrapolate from this there were only 6 people in the library between 6.00 pm and 7.00 pm ). At 7.00 pm, the average number was 7 people.
• At 5.00 pm on Tuesdays, there was an average of 15 people. At 6.00 pm, there was an average of 7 people (this includes anyone who came for the Councillor's surgery). At 7.00 pm, the average was 5.
• At 5.00 pm on Wedmesdays, there was an average of 10 people. At 6.00 pm there was an average of 23 people (this includes 16 people for the yoga class, which means there were 7 people in the library). At 7.00 pm, there was an average of 4 people in the library.
From this we can see that there is a marked drop after 5.00 pm of users of the library, other than accessing the meeting room. From the Spydus library circulation system, we have determined that the number of items borrowed after 5.30 pm on Mondays is 2% higher than Tuesdays, and 11.50% higher than Wednesdays. Therefore, from the borrowers perspective, there is greater demand for a late opening on Mondays. Community usage through the yoga class also reinforces that the demand lies with Monday evening.
From April 2010 onwards the building will still be available for community access by arrangement. A Resource Assistant will be in the building to support groups and, if borrowers wished to issue or return books via the self issue terminal, the Resource Assistant would be available to give assistance if required.
As part of the review, Blackness will be opening earlier in the mornings, 9.00 am instead of 9.30 am, and overall there is no loss of opening hours, which remains at 42.5 hours per week."
In response, I have asked that I be advised of feedback from library users about the changes and assurances that the new arrangements will be closely monitored.