Those responsible for delivering library services must consider issues of accessibility, information services, programming and use made of available library services. A library should provide services and materials that respond to the informational, educational, personal and cultural needs of the community it serves.
Libraries must be physically accessible and have hours of service known by its community. Libraries must offer the full range of services during public hours, as well as illustrate and enliven those services with relevant programming. To ensure the quality of those services libraries must regularly measure patron usage of its various services.
Services – Accessibility - Hours of Service
The following hours are recommended:
|2. The library’s regularly scheduled hours include morning, afternoon, evening and weekend hours based on a schedule that is convenient for both actual and potential users.|
|3. In towns and cities with more than one public library, libraries may coordinate their open hours to provide extended service to the community. Such libraries may consider their total cooperative service hours when meeting the number of recommended hours.|
|4. *Library hours are posted and publicized in the community.|
|5. All library services are offered to all individuals during open hours.|
Services – Accessibility - Circulation
|1. The library’s circulation policies should encourage the lending of library materials, except for those items judged to be irreplaceable or needed in the reference collection for basic informational services|
|2. Materials not immediately available may be reserved for patrons.|
|3. *The library’s circulation practices and policies protect patron confidentiality.|
|4. The library does not place any age restrictions on the in-house use or checkout of library materials by adults or children.|
Services – Accessibility – Physical Access
|1. The library is physically accessible to all people.|
|2. The library has a written policy concerning the use of library facilities and display areas by community groups.|
|3. *The library has a telephone and the number is listed in the telephone directory.|
|4. There is a recorded message of the library’s open hours. Patrons can renew materials by telephone.|
|5. The library provides a floor plan or directory and adequate signage to aid users in the location of materials.|
|6. The library ensures communication with persons with disabilities by providing adaptive equipment and software. Materials are available in alternative service delivery.|
|7. The library provides access for people with hearing disabilities (e.g. TTY/TDY and etc.)|
|8. The library provides delivery service to home-bound patrons.|
One of the most important services the library offers is accurate and timely guidance in the use of its information resources. It should also provide access to information available through other libraries, networks and information services. All information requests, including interlibrary loans, should be responded to, or referral initiated, within one working day of the request. These services should be provided to all age groups—children, young adults and adults.
|1. The library provides reference and reader’s advisory services to residents of all ages in person and by telephone during all hours the library is open.|
|2. The library prepares bibliographies, information access guides and user aids to inform residents of the availability of resources on a specific topic or issue.|
|3. *The library cooperates with other libraries to provide interlibrary loan and other information services. This service is widely publicized in the library and in the community and available equally to all users regardless of age.|
|4. The library cooperates with other agencies in the area to offer information services.|
|5. All requests for information are answered, or a referral initiated, within one working day of receipt.|
|6. The staff assists patrons with the effective use of technologies necessary to access non-print resources.|
|7. The library provides reference services to patrons with disabilities in formats they can utilize.|
|8. The library offers remote access to its automated public access catalog.|
Regular measurement of the actual reference activity of the library is a tool for providing the best use of the library’s information resources.
|1. Libraries should annually determine the number of reference transactions.|
|2. Libraries should annually determine author, title and subject fill rates of reference transactions in order to support budget requests for additional materials to meet as many reference needs as possible|
|3. Libraries should annually determine the average length of time needed to acquire documents not owned by the library.|
Programs, whether sponsored by the library or in cooperation with other community organizations, should illustrate and enliven library resources and services and provide a public forum for the exchange of ideas. Programming efforts should be directed to patrons of all ages—children, young adults and adults—and take into consideration the diversity of the community. Outreach efforts may direct that some programs be held off-site. Programs should be held in physically accessible areas.
|1. Public programs are offered in physically accessible locations for children, young adults and adults.|
|2. The library sets objectives for its programming activities and uses those objectives to evaluate the programs it offers, considering all of the following factors:
|3. The library widely publicizes programs and services through newspapers, radio, television, Web pages, television and community agencies and organizations.|
The usage made of the library by the community it serves is an indication of how effectively the library provides library services. This usage is reported to the Maine State Library through the Annual Report.
|1. *The library annually calculates at least the following performance measures:
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