Previous by DateNext by Date Date Index
Previous by ThreadNext by Thread Thread Index
LM_NET Archive

This question attracted many answers.
Proof again that we each adapt to our particular environment.
Among the replies were some common tactics and methods such as:

 > When I go away I turn out the lights
 > When I go away the library is still available for students 
accompanied by a teacher
 > I use a dial clock sign with an "I will return at" message
 > When I'm away I offer self service checkout via paper and pen

The vast majority of the respondents use ample communication regarding 
their library hours.
Some librarians suggested that posted hours lends a professionalism to 
the operation.

And, a few brave librarians explained why they didn't post hours.

I decided to post my hours using a combination of fixed hours and class 
periods as reference points.
We have a variety of schedules (assembly, pep rally, late start, etc.).
I didn't specify my lunchtime although I make allowance for it. My 
library's posted hours are:

Hours for Spring Semester, 2010
7:35am (8:35am on Mondays) till the end of 2nd Lunch
2:00pm till 3:30pm

My Thanks to all who responded.

Here are the responses:

I post the "official" schedule - assigned duties and my preferred lunch 
time.with a note that it is subject to change. When I know that I will 
be out for the day or have classes scheduled in, I will post a sign 
indicating each. Even though I am a solo, I always allow students to 
return materials when I am teaching. Depending on what I am teaching, I 
will allow sign outs. I also use emails with the teachers when things 
get busy.
I do post my hours, although the sign seems to be mostly ignored. 
Students are always bursting in with a, "Are you open?" or, "You were 
closed yesterday when I needed a book!"
I still think it's a good idea to post them.
Yes, I do post my hours. I take a planning period every day (it rotates 
between the periods so one group of kids is not always blocked out of 
the library) so I have that posted. I have the general open and closing 
hours posted, but that is a little flexible depending on how long I stay 
in the afternoon.

Now, the students don't always pay attention to my posted signs, but at 
least I can say that the hours are posted!
Even though I have an assistant in my school library, I post my hours 
(including when I go to lunch). If my aide is absent for any reason, I 
notify the other teachers that the library is closed when I'm teaching, 
at lunch, and during my prep; otherwise, I post my hours and class 
schedule somewhere where everyone can see them. Hope that helps.
I do post my hours, this is my first year flying solo. I also, per my 
principal shut out the lights and leave if I have to go to a classroom 
or lab to help a teacher. Teachers are supposed to call before sending 
students (again per the principal) but they don't follow this.
My situation is not exactly like yours as I have a secretary one day per 
week. However, I fully expect to have none next year. I don't teach any 
regularly scheduled classes, so if I have to be out of the library for 
some reason, I email the staff to let them know that the library is 
closed. The teachers all have keys, so if they need to bring a class in 
to use the computers, they can still do that. They just can't check out 
books and no dropin students are allowed.

The only hours I post are for closing time, which varies depending on 
how long I am able to stay after school. I have a laminated sign "Open 
today until . . ." that I hang in the window. Each day I write on it 
with transparency marker indicating how late I am open for that day. You 
might consider having some sort of adjustable sign like pie pieces with 
a spinning arrow indicating IN, BACK SHORTLY, IN CLASS, etc. Just a thought.
Yes, but I do it everyday because my schedule changes every day. I send 
an email out every day letting teachers know that no one is available to 
check in/out books at that time.
I post my hours indicating the times that I am consistently out of the 
library. In addition my sign says I may be out “other times as posted.” 
Then what I do if I am going to be gone more than just a few minutes is 
tape on the door window one of those clock faces with moveable hands 
that a lot of businesses use that says “WILL RETURN” and I set the hands 
to show when I will be back. I usually give myself a bit of extra time 
so that if I’m detained people aren’t fuming and if I’m back early 
everyone is happy.
I am a "solo" librarian, although there are times when I jokingly say 
there are 3 people who work in our library. Me, myself, and I !!! 
Seriously though, the library is NOT closed when I am not there, BUT 
students must be accompanied by a teacher. I've trained our students 
(middle schoolers) and teachers to recognize that if the lights are out, 
I'm out of the room. Students who have been sent with a pass then know 
that they need to return to class. Teachers can come use our library 
when it is my prep or lunch, after all it is "our" library, not "mine". 
As far as "posting hours", that's never occurred to me. I am on the same 
schedule as the rest of our teachers.

Good luck with your decision.
The library hours are posted on my doors, however, that doesn't mean 
that the library is totally available during those hours. Part of my 
orientation to students covers how they know if I am available to help them.

Depending on the needs of the needs of the teacher and/or the class that 
is scheduled to use the library, I have a sign on my circulation desk 
next to the student register (all students who come to the library with 
passes must sign in when they arrive and out when they leave). One side 
is green and says, "Please sign in and present your pass to the library 
staff." The other side is red and says, "The library is not accepting 
passes at this time, please return to class." I also have a dry erase 
board that everyone can see when they come through the entrance doors 
that I use to write what the day's schedule is and what periods are free 
from classes. That way, if students need my help, they know what periods 
they can ask their teachers for passes.
yes I would make sure that each teacher had a copy to post in their 
room. That way kids are not out of class when you are not there.
I do not post my hours except for lunch. We have 4 lunches and I rotate 
during the week so that all kids can stop in during their lunch at least 
once. I post the schedule for that and it remains the same every week. 
Monday and Friday, we are closed A lunch, Tues-B, Wed-C, Thur-D. They 
have become used to this.

I have a huge calendar on my desk where I sign teachers up for 
classes--they can come in and check when it is open even if I am busy 
with another class. They can sign up and then we will discuss the use 
when we are both free.

Study hall classes are given sheets daily indicating which bells are 
open for their use and how many students are able to sign up. This seems 
to work as teachers change thier minds daily--ever notice that?
When I was at St. Paul, I had a similar situation. I posted hours, and 
locked the library when I was away. Since everyone had a key, I would 
often come back to find that something had been taken and no note left. 
Of course, I didn't find out that things were gone until either they 
returned or I needed them and couldn't find them.

I'm assuming that your class time is pretty well set for each semester, 
so that you can print a schedule and it will be accurate for the 
semester. I'd post that outside the library door. If your class time 
varies from day to day, or week to week, you will have to change the 
posting as needed. It is even more important for you to post hours then.
Library hours for the elem. library are posted in the window next to the 
doors from the hall. Since I'm shared between library/media centers and 
have an aide who covers whichever library I am not at, we have to close 
1 library for an hour each day in order for both of us to take lunch and 
keep the other library open. Further, I do not have the library open to 
students when I am teaching a class (no flexible schedule here).
I too am a solo.
I post some of my hours and then make note that other days are “by 
Yes - I post hours. The library is basically open from 8-4 (also earlier 
or later, if I'm here). It's closed at noon as I don't eat my lunch in 
the library - I socialize with other teachers.

When I am scheduled to teach French, another teacher with library 
certification, runs the library.

BTW - I teach in a small, rural eastern Montana district - my building 
serves about 160 students in grades 7-12.
I'm a solo librarian for a PreK3-12 school. I also teach computer apps
and journalism (which includes being the yearbook adviser), and juggle a
handful of other responsibilities. Open hours for the two libraries in
the school are definitely one of the things I juggle, and I do post my
hours. I send out a schedule each week to the teachers, indicating
where I'm teaching classes, where I'm teaching info skills lessons in
others' classes, and when the flexible access times will be that week.
The teachers have pretty much gotten used to the fact that my schedule
isn't necessarily the same each week.

I try to keep flex access as consistent as possible, but sometimes I
have to schedule an info skills lesson during that time. I recruit as
many parent volunteers as I can to extend flex access, and I've also
given teachers permission to bring their classes into the libraries as a
group when I'm not there - they just write down the bar code numbers.
So far it's worked for me.
I'm also a solo librarian (I refer to myself as the chief cook and 
bottle washer). My libraries are also closed when I'm not there, 
although they are used for occupational and other therapy 
sessions--which means people have access to them when I am not present 
to supervise. (Vent.)

I do post my hours on the door of the h.s. library and next to it on the 
e.s./m.s. library. Most people pay attention, but there are always those 
who tell me that every time they come to the library, I'm not there.
I'm the only one in my library, and I do post the hours, showing when my 
lunch break is. I just changed my sign because we have two lunches on 
our campus, and last semester I closed the library the first lunch and 
this semester I'll close for the second lunch. If I'm going to be gone 
more than a few minutes and have to lock the doors, I put a post-it sign 
up either where I am or the reason the library is closed (district 
librarian meeting, etc.) I try to let the staff know if the library is 
going to be closed when I'm at a meeting that takes half a day so 
they'll know not to send students during that time.

I think this helps eliminate frustration on students' and staff's part. 
But there are still students who never see the signs, so I also turn off 
the big center lights in the middle of the library, and that gives them 
a visual clue that the library is closed at lunch or whenever.
'm a solo teacher-librarian for 1500 high school students. I post the 
hours. I want them to know when I'm closed and open so they can rely the 
library. It's part of helping the students be responsible and avoiding 
PR issues. If I have to leave for a few minutes, I put a sign on the 
door. If I have to close for several hours at unusual times, I email the 
teachers and put it in the announcements if I can.

I close for my lunch, all day Wednesdays for meetings/paperwork, and 
after school Tues. and Wed. for me to attend Department Chair and staff 
meetings. The all day Wed. closing was done with the principals 
approval. It's like my plan. We're so busy, I couldn't accomplish any 
work that takes sustained thinking or time. I'm open, by choice, longer 
hours after school for the students. I also had no time to meet with 
teachers even with student aides running the circulation desk.

I feel like I supply a service and the patrons/customers need to know 
when the service is available.
Yes-- you should post--signs and on the web site and in parent 
newsletters. This would be a good PR move. Is the facility open to 
teachers and classes when you are not there?
It's my first year as a solo librarian and I've wondered how others do 
this too. I do the same as you, open when I'm here, closed when I'm not. 
Some periods, I teach in classrooms, or in the computer lab, and I have 
to close then - and which period(s) on which day is random. I make sure 
to eat my lunch in the faculty room and I'm closed then (different time 
each day depending on which class needs me). It is very hit or miss and 
it makes it impossible to post hours. Some days I'm available for 
students after school, other days I have meetings. Our school is quite 
small, so generally I'm easy to find, but I find that there is no way 
that I could post set hours.
Oh, yeah. You have to let people know when you are there, or they just 
give up and don't come at all.
Yes, I post my hours. The students sometimes have to be reminded, but 
posting them helps. I also have a newsletter that has the hours posted 
on them as well.
I am not a solo librarian, but someone I know who is a Media specialists 
puts her schedule on the schools network and lets people schedule time 
with her as needed. You could try something like that and see if it 
works for you.
yes, post my hours

I too am a solo librarian
No assistant here, either. My basic daily schedule is posted in a shared 
folder that all staff have access to. That schedule indicates fixed 
class schedules as well as my 30 min. lunch time each day. Because of 
local fire code, we are required to keep all hallway doors closed 
whenever classrooms are occupied. SO.... i made a series of signs and 
laminated them, and installed a teacup hook on the outside of the 
library door. all the signs hang on the single hook./conference.

WELCOME! PLEASE COME IN! is posted when i am in the library and open for 

gone to lunch, have to run to the bathroom, to the office, to the 
workroom, to a brief meeting with the principal - anything around 30 
minutes or so.

leave early for a meeting or doctor's appointment, or if i am out all 
day sick or gone to an all day meeting.

i sometimes come back and find piles of returned books stacked outside 
the door - BAD!!! i hope to get an outside, locked book return of some 
kind in the near future to place in the hallway and solve that problem. 
if teachers MUST have access while i am out - they can get a key from 
the office and they all know i have a signout./checkout sheet on the 
circ desk which they must fill out for me if they remove any materials 
from the library. in fact, students are trained to use the same sheet if 
i am busy with a class, on the phone, etc., and they can't wait for me 
to check out their books. it's worked well for 17 years now ;-)
I am a solo high school librarian and I have virtual classes which occur in
the library at different times
per semester. I do not post hours because sometimes I have to leave the
library to collaborate with teachers
and that can occur at various times/days. Therefore, I will place a sign 
on my door when I am not there stating
the approximate time when I will return.
I am the solo librarian in an open space school, so technically, the 
library is NEVER closed! hahaha, sigh. Plus, there's not really anywhere 
to post a sign!

I don't have an office, so if I'm not in the library, then.....I'm 
somewhere else. I have a book return cart with a big RETURN BOOKS HERE 
sign; hopefully they use that for returns. If they need to check 
something out, hopefully they will wait or put it on the checkout desk 
with a note. If they decide they need it right away, and I'm not here 
then I guess they just take it :/.

I'm also on a fixed schedule, so if there's a specials class at that 
time, I am!

I know this isn't very helpful, but it's been a long day and so here's 
my little rant. (PS: I love everything about my school EXCEPT the 
architecture. Everything bad about it you can imagine is true.)
I do post my hours, though I am flexible with my breaks (meaning I take 
shorter ones) if kids really need help.

I use a Google Calendar so that teachers have quick access to the 
schedule from their classrooms. The school follows a fixed library 
schedule which also shows on my calendar as to which classes come to the 
library at what time. Online calendar is great because it can be linked 
to from other websites (parent orgainzation, school website, wikis, 
etc). Also, because it is not a piece of paper, it cannot get lost!

As for students. they basically know that I am open pretty much all day. 
If I do take a break, I just post a sign on my desk/door and ask them to 
come back later.
What I do is post my hours outside my door AND send a copy of my hours, 
suitable for posting -- with a note explaining that if there is a 
"Library closed" sign on my door, to not allow students to enter. During 
my library classes, I point out to the students the schedule posted 
outside my door and what they are to do if there is a closed sign 
outside. I also ask them if their teacher has the hours posted by the 
door. If they answer no, put another schedule in the teacher's mailbox, 
with a sticky note -- please post by your door.

Good luck!!
OK--I have been "solo" in various schools for quite a few years now and 
I have quit posting my hours.
Almost all of our kids know that I am here from a half an hour before 
school until an hour after and they can get in and out to check out 
books, do homework, whatever. I do have an hour a day when I am tutoring 
someone one on one and the kids will sometimes come in during that time, 
but when they see me working with (my one-on-one) they just leave again 
right away without bothering either of us. Some of the elementary kids 
were having a hard time with that since it is during their lunch time, 
but they are getting better about it. They also all know that I take my 
lunch during the Jr. High lunch period and while I leave the library 
open for them to sit in the air-con, I have never had a problem with that.
In the past I have posted hours, but I now I just tell myself that if no 
one has shown up a half an hour after school, then I can feel free to 
leave if I need to do something else.
Don't know if that is really helpful, but it is what I do.
Although not required by law or ed. code, here in California, our school 
library association has created a list of standards and one of them says 
that the days and hours of operation be posted. Since I'm on a fixed 
schedule, I also post that. I'm not sure what the up-side of not posting 
them would be, unless you don't want people to know when you're not 
there (so teachers won't sneak in and help themselves?) or, you're often 
supposed to be there and not (oops!). Since most people do expect to 
find me in the library, I have a door hanger which I put on my knob when 
I'll be gone for more than a few minutes. It's just a laminated piece of 
construction paper. One side says "Mrs. Ladewig is either on break or in 
the office." The other side says "Mrs. Ladewig is visiting room: " and I 
stick a Post-it there and write in the room #. Since I have a room with 
no windows, people can't tell whether I'm in the library or not, so this 
is helpful.
I used to do it when I was solo.
As the only librarian in a middle school, I don't post hours. I don't 
travel, so I am there every day unless I am sick. I have a combination 
fixed/flexible schedule. Teachers know they have to schedule their 
classes with me ahead of time. They can send individual students in any 
time, but they can't just decide to bring their classes on the spur of 
the moment (although some smaller, special ed classes do do this, and 
sometimes it's a problem). During our last 25 minutes of the day, I am 
open for free checkout, so I am always available to students then and I 
am usually swamped. If I am absent or have to close the library for some 
reason, I put that in the announcements and put a closed sign on the door.
I too am a solo librarian extraordinaire. No assistant (but do have some 
great volunteers!); 15 classes weekly; work part-time days; lesson 
planning, purchasing, cataloging, etc…. In light of that, however, I do 
post media center hours.

Reasons why I opted to post hours:
- Lends an air of credibility to the media center / more professional - 
let's folks mean we mean business.
- Help parents know when they can come with their kids.
- Our media center has problems with people cutting through the library 
while classes being taught. By posting hours, it clearly indicates when 
folks can/can't

(shouldn't) wander through.
- Helps keep me on track.
- Makes me have to be on time for work!

I do take into account that there are times when I have to leave the 
library hence no one is here when hours reflect library is open. That's 
just how it goes and most people understand.

FYI...…I have attached a copy of the media center schedule I created. I 
print-out out several copies; back them up on a nice bright paper, 
laminate, and post on entry doors. I also keep a copy by computer to 
refer too.

Hope this helps. Would be interested to hear what other folks do.

Tim Wojcik
Our Lady of Mercy RCHS
Fayetteville, GA

Please note: All LM_NET postings are protected by copyright law.
  You can prevent most e-mail filters from deleting LM_NET postings
  by adding LM_NET@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU to your e-mail address book.
To change your LM_NET status, you send a message to:
In the message write EITHER:

 * LM_NET Help & Information:
 * LM_NET Archive:
 * EL-Announce with LM_NET Select:
 * LM_NET Supporters:
 * LM_NET Wiki:


LM_NET Mailing List Home