CAUL Council of Australian University Librarians.

Library Weekend Hours

CAUL Questionnaire (NNCU 25/3/96)

Question 1: What hours are you open at weekends?

Of the 29 libraries who responded all opened at weekends and all but one on both days. It was common for libraries to open the same hours each day. Only 7 libraries opened different hours. Hours ranged from 7¾ up to 20, with the most common figure being 8 hours (12 libraries) and the most common hours 1-5 pm. The range of hours was from 8 am to 9 pm, 5 pm was by far the most common finishing time.

Question 2: Do you offer the full range of services?

9 libraries said yes, 2 no, 18 almost.

Question 3: If not, what services do you offer?

Of the 20 main libraries which did not provide a full range of services the most common service to be "watered down" was that of "Information Services" where Faculty advisory or subject specialist services, in-depth reference queries and mediated online searching were either not available or available only if there was time and the right person was on duty. Special collections/rare books, document delivery and AV were also not as available, or available only by prior arrangement. Services were even more limited in branch libraries, with only loans and special reserve offered in some cases. Only 2 libraries indicated that they offered periods where "core services" were not available: Murdoch offers no Reference Service from 10 am - 1 pm, Adelaide which extends opening hours during weekends around exam time (9am - 5pm, rather than 1pm - 5pm), offers only reserve, photocopies and OPAC 9am - 1pm (ie. No lending, reference, CD Roms etc.)

Question 4: What level and numbers of staff do you use at weekends and for what services?

This has not been tabulated because of the detail and because we were interested in the patterns of staff only in times when services are markedly reduced. Only two libraries do this: Murdoch has 4 library officers, Level 2/3 or 3/4, 10 am - 5.30 pm and a librarian 5/6 or 7/8, 1 pm - 5.30 pm only. Adelaide has 3 staff 9 am - 1 pm : 1 minding the exit, 1 serving reserve, 1 picking up books, reshelving, relief etc. Of those libraries which indicated whether they used casual or weekday staff or a mix: 6 used casuals only 4 used weekday staff. 5 used a mixture. It was common for the Information Desk person to be a member of the weekday staff.

Question 5/6 Problems/Comments (relating to reduced services)

Updated 7 June, 1996
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