Palo Alto, CA – Beginning Tuesday, Sep. 8, Palo Alto City Library will expand its public service hours and will also make its hours of operations more consistent across its five branches. Branches that are currently open on Monday and Thursday will open at 10 a.m. rather than noon. In addition, both Mitchell Park and Rinconada will open at the earlier time of 10 a.m. and remain open until 9 p.m. The Library will also be open longer on Sundays with both Mitchell Park and Rinconada Libraries open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. those days. These changes were made possible through the City Council-approved fiscal year 2015-16 budget, which added both full- and part-time positions to the library staff.
In addition to expanded hours, the Library will also be open more days out of the year. The Library had closed most Sundays that preceded Monday holidays. It will be ending that practice.
"The community supported the Library with the bond to build and renovate buildings; more open hours are in demand, and we appreciate the Council approving additional funding to make that happen. Business is good! The popularity of the new Mitchell Park Library continues to contribute to higher circulation numbers. Circulation is also up at the newly renovated Rinconada Library. We see the Library's popularity communicated in other ways too. Our Yelp reviews regularly sing our praises. Customers love the space and they love being able to check out a conference room for free using liquidspace.com. The Library is also taking full advantage of its new program rooms with activities that fill up quickly," said Library Director Monique le Conge Ziesenhenne.
The Library has won national and state awards for its new and renovated buildings, including Library Journal's New Landmark Library Award, a LEED Platinum Award, a California Parks & Recreation Society Award of Excellence, a California Preservation Design Award and a Palo Alto Stanford Preservation Award.
In addition to space, the Library’s e-services are more robust than ever before, making the library collections accessible 24/7. The electronic collection continues to expand, making possible a 49 percent increase in circulation of the Library’s ebooks compared to last year.
"Contrary to sentiments that libraries would vanish as customers gravitated to e-services, we are experiencing just the opposite," said Ziesenhenne. “People are finding more and more ways to use their library, whether it is to check out a pass to the California Academy of Sciences, stream documentaries to their home, meet with colleagues in a sleek conference room, enjoy a program by a popular author, or get recommendations for their favorite book - the Palo Alto City Library is the place to be.”
In addition to trained librarians who can help navigate today’s information world, library users of all ages can find materials for school, programs for learning, and space to meet their needs. Director Ziesenhenne noted, “One of the most common questions we hear is – can you expand hours and make the hours more consistent? We are proud to answer, yes.”