Demand is high for summer programs at the Columbia County Library, but not for expanded early morning hours, county officials say.
The county commission recently decided not to extend the library's morning hours this summer because of a lack of demand last year, Evans branch librarian Jessica Thompson said.
Though circulation numbers, computer usage and foot traffic remains high overall - and summer is the library's busiest time - Thompson said the Evans branch will not open an hour earlier, as it did last summer.
"The door counts ... between 9 and 10 (a.m.) were not what they needed to be to justify paying staff to be there an hour early," she said.
About 100 patrons enter the library during a typical first hour of the day, Thompson said. But during the six-week period the library extended its hours last year, an average of only seven patrons entered between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m., she said.
"Summer is our busiest time, actually," Thompson said. "We have our highest circulation numbers during the summer because everybody is out of school."
The poor numbers, she said, had to do with not getting the word out last summer.
One regular patron, Bonnie Blewett of Evans, said she used the earlier hours last summer after she moved to the area. She said not having the extended hours this summer won't be an inconvenience.
"Their hours are good and if we don't make it in the morning, they have extended hours in the evening," she said. "It will accommodate us."
The library is expanding its young adult and children's programs this summer and there is a waiting list for children's story time programs, Thompson said. Youth summer reading programs began May 17, and children can sign up to participate at any of the three county libraries.
Other programs in June include a beginners martial arts class, showings of the original 1933 and remade 2005 versions of King Kong and a tour of the libraries by Chad Crews, the magical storyteller.
The library is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday and Friday. It is open from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays.
For more information about summer programs, call the library at (706) 863-1946. Teens can keep up with library happenings at its Myspace pages: www.myspace.com/columbiacountylibrary or www.myspace.com/teenscenecolumbiacolib.
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