Here in New England, the winter has been horrible. With working at the library, you need to decided is it safe to open, if so are you opening at your normal time, are you opening late, are you closing early? When is the right time to make this decision?
We all want the library to be open 24/7, what library lover/book lover doesn’t? But when the bad weather comes in, we have to make the safe decision on whether the library is open, closed, or will be having reduced hours for that day. You also need to find the right time to make this decision. My library doesn’t open until noon, so we usually make the call around 9am or 10am to close, or have reduced hours.
You also need to keep in mind where all of your librarians are traveling from, you might be lucky and have them all live in town, so you all know the conditions of the roads, but maybe you have a couple of librarians in town, a couple the next town over, and a couple that actually have to travel to work. When closing or choosing hours for snow days, you need to keep in mind who’s working, and where they’re coming from. You want to make sure that all of your librarians drives are a safe one to work.
Of course, there are going to be days where reduced hours just won’t make it. If you’re from New England, you would know how this winter has been. My library has been closed several times, so don’t be afraid to close. You need to keep in mind, you may be able to make it to work, but will you patrons be able to make it to the library safely? Maybe it would make sense, to open up on a different day that week to make up for the day you were closed. You want to make sure you’re getting the most use out of your library no matter what, so to be open on a day when you’ll only get a couple of patrons, it isn’t worth it.
The most important thing to remember when dealing with snow days, is be safe!
Small Town Librarian