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University libraries’ student satisfaction surveys regularly reveal student demand for increased operating hours to accommodate student learning. While academic libraries may provide extended hours, use of such models in academic health sciences libraries appears to be less widely adopted, perhaps due to budgetary concerns and lower general gate counts than academic library counterparts that may already provide extended hours. In the face of student demands, our institution shifted its budget to provide an additional 10 weekend hours, between Friday and Sunday, to help meet these demands. This study assessed the return on investment for those increased hours by tracking increased physical use of library spaces in the year following adoption of extended weekend operating hours.
This study utilized physical library usage data [gate counts, room reservations, and circulation transactions] for the time period January 2018-January 2020, restricted to Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The date range allowed for comparison of weekend physical use statistics during one complete year pre-extended hours with one complete year post-extended hours data. For the two time periods, for all periods except exams, we ran descriptive statistics to assess the percent increase in physical library usage, with sub-analyses by patron type whenever data allowed.
We saw an upsurge in room reservations across all three weekend days with a 52.95% increase during the Spring Semester, a 38.81% increase in the Fall Semester, and a 9.16% increase during the Summer Semester. Room reservations during the extended hours in 2019 accounted for 17.42%, 20.98%, and 18.92% of all reservations during the Spring, Fall, and Summer Semesters respectively. Gate count and circulation data analysis is ongoing.
Based on this data, we are confident that the return on investment for these extended hours was high.
Is Part Of
Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Medical Library Association (MAC- MLA) Annual Meeting Posters/Presentations