New Chapman Branch hours better suit patrons, community

SALT LAKE CITY—Visit the Chapman Branch of the Salt Lake City Public Library on a Sunday and you’ll find students crouched over study materials, teens browsing through graphic novels, and kids and adults accessing the Internet through Library computers or their own devices.

This bustle of weekend activity is due to the Chapman Branch’s new operating hours, which began on December 1. Now, instead of encountering a locked door, patrons can access Library services, materials, and programming at times that better suit their schedules. The branch’s new operating hours are Monday through Friday between 11am—8pm, Saturday between 10am—7pm, and Sunday between Noon—6pm.

"Our community has been very receptive of our new hours, particularly on Sundays,” said Mary Anne Heider, Manager of the Chapman Branch. “Many patrons have said that Sunday is the only day they can come to the library and they are grateful to be able to visit a branch located in their neighborhood.”

Heider said that Chapman Branch staff have worked to make their Sunday hours a festive and relaxed occasion for visitors, offering snacks, hot drinks, and a craft program in the afternoon.

“The public library is no longer just a place to grab a book and read quietly to one’s self,” said John Spears, Executive Director of the Salt Lake City Public Library. “Our community members are using the library to communicate with friends and family through social media sites and email, to gather together for community conversations, to seek entertainment resources as well as information resources. As the community’s demands and use patterns change, The City Library needs to ensure we’re offering hours that provide the greatest access to as many people in Salt Lake City as possible.”

The Library branch’s new hours were determined by an analysis of public surveys collected at the branch and community events, circulation statistics, gate counts, and staff input. The Chapman Branch is the first City Library location to implement new hours based on a fresh round of feedback, and plans to reevaluate operating hours at other locations are currently in the works.