Access to Library Services

Serving the Community

Essential Standards

1. The library is open convenient hours. At a minimum the library is open at least the following number of hours weekly: 

Service Area Population Minimum Desirable
less than 3,500 15 25-40
3,501 - 9,999 30 40-50
10,000 - 24,999 40 50-60
more than 25,000 50 60+

In order for the library to serve its community it is necessary for it to be open a certain number of hours. The board and director need to consider their community when choosing library hours.  Who lives in the community?  Seniors?  Working people who commute?  People who work 8-5 or something similar?  Parents with small children?  After identifying the largest majorities within the community think about what hours work best for the individual groups.  The library may need to be open a combination of morning and evening hours in order to accommodate everyone.

Many libraries exceed this minimum because the community, the board, and the director recognize that the number of hours of public service leads to greater use by the public. A library with more than one service outlet may use the total non-overlapping hours of all outlets to meet the minimum requirement.

2. Everyone has safe, comfortable,and convenient access to the library and its services.

5. Everyone has access to virtual and face-to-face programming.

6. Everyone has access to information about local community and government activities that assists them with understanding local community issues and allows them to engage civically in the community.

7.  Children and caregivers have access to early literacy programming and materials either through the library or by being directed to another community organization that specializes in early literacy.

8. Everyone has access to information about library programs and services through internal and external marketing efforts of library staff.

9. Everyone has access to a library website or social media site.

11. Everyone has access to the internet via wired and WIFI connections.

12. Reasonable accommodations are made so that people with disabilities have access to the library's services.

Having a statement confirming the library's compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) can further demonstrate support for all individuals in a community. A library might also consider outlining the procedure for requesting reasonable accommodation. 


Numbers refer to standards in the corresponding section of the Complete Library Standards document

Guide to Essential Public Library Standards