Patrons at Naperville's downtown Nichols Library will have more time to use and enjoy the facility beginning Jan. 5 when its Sunday hours of operation are expanded to 1 to 9 p.m.
Officials opted to keep the library at 200 W. Jefferson Ave. open four hours longer (Sunday operating hours used to be 1 to 5 p.m.) after a three-month test that began last March to measure the potential demand.
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Executive Director Julie Rothenfluh said library staff members assessed door counts, circulation numbers and reference question totals as well as study room popularity. She said the library also analyzed customer satisfaction surveys.
"They all indicate people want more hours," Rothenfluh said. "When we started doing the pilot, we received comment cards on a weekly basis. We had a lot of positive feedback."
During the three-month test program, library staff members determined there was a definite need to be open later on Sundays, especially during the school year.
"A lot of students come for that homework help," Rothenfluh said, both from area high schools and nearby North Central College.
The origin of the Sunday hour expansion plan stems from a city budget workshop at which council members inquired what it would cost for the library to be open additional hours. Rothenfluh said having extended hours on Sundays was not budgeted, but the library managed to fit it in.
"The supervisors did a good job of rearranging staff so that we could offer additional hours without additional funding," Rothenfluh said.
The test program indicated demand for more hours tapered off at the end of the school year, so the additional hours will run through May 18 and then pick back up Sept. 7.