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Somerset Library Column: Library board working hard behind the scenes

Ginny Scheiderer

With Daylight Savings Time just a few weeks away, I thought it would be timely to share all the work the Somerset Public Library Board of Trustees has been tackling behind the scenes in anticipation of an expanded facility.

At the monthly meeting in January, they voted unanimously to terminate the current fine structure once the $2.5 million goal has been reached. None of the monies collected since the implementation of fines on materials returned late has been used for operating expenses. They have been deposited in an account designated specifically for just such a capital campaign.

Statistics support the fact that charging fees is not an incentive for people to return materials on time. It does deter a significant number of residents from using the resources which they should be entitled to. As stewards of these valuable assets, the board will revise the fine policy on late items, but continue to charge replacement costs for lost and damaged goods.

The second major decision the board acted on takes effect March 1, when the start time will change from 11 a.m. to 9 a.m. By adjusting the hours to reflect both patron interest and usage patterns, we hope to deliver improved services to our loyal neighbors. A secondary feature of the board's action is that these times will be in effect 12 months of the year. Previously, the summer months saw a reduction in hours. Increasing from 44 hours per week to 51 hours should provide commuters, retirees, students and all other community members additional opportunities to take advantage of special events, ongoing programs, and an ever-changing selection of popular books and movies.

Our new hours are Monday-Wednesday-Friday 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; and Saturdays 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

We encourage you to stop in and share your thoughts on the expansion project, removing fees, increasing hours, and the always popular weather!

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