Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Director, New Changes At Brockton Libraries

By Lisa E. Crowley
BrocktonPost
BROCKTON—Brockton Public Library advocates are not only looking forward to the new year, they are waiting with anticipation for 2012’s first Friday the 13th when the main branch library will open its doors on a Friday for the first time in years.
“We are really excited about it,” said Elizabeth Marcus Wolfe, Brockton Public Library’s new director. “There are lot of people to thank for making this happen,” she said.
Starting on Friday, Jan. 13 the main branch library will open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Also, the hours at the West Branch and East Branch libraries will be expanded.
The West will open at 2 p.m. instead of 3 p.m. beginning Jan. 11 and the East will open at 2 instead of 3 p.m. on Thursdays, starting Jan. 12.
The extra hour for each of the branches coincides with the 2 p.m. closing of the high school and middle schools near the two libraries.
Wolfe said students for years have walked past the libraries at 2 p.m. instead of walking in to complete homework or divert from other activities afterschool that might not be of a positive nature.
“We want to capture that student population—junior high and high school students,” Wolfe said.
Wolfe, who took over three months ago, said it was the library’s staff who are making the new hours possible by their willingness to take on different roles and responsibilities, including administrative staff manning the public desk on Fridays at the main branch.
She said the library’s employee schedule is very complex, and very tight, and a lot of work went into extending hours, and appreciates everyone’s hard work to bring a much-desired result.
Wolfe said the staff is “stretching its resources” and although the main branch at 304 Main St., will be open 8 additional hours, some services such as extensive research or special events or children’s programs will not be available, but overall opening the main branch on Fridays and adding an extra hour each at the branches is a step in the right direction.
“All felt it was the right thing to do,” Wolfe said.
On the job for about three months, Wolfe said she has had the chance to meet with the library’s directors, patrons and members of Friends of Brockton Public Library, get a preliminary view for the future.
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