Minimum Standards: Hours Open

The Requirement

The Minimum Hours Open requirement is defined in statute and regulation (MGL, c.78, s.19B and 605 CMR 4.01( 3).  

In order to be eligible to apply for State Aid to Public Libraries, a library must be open the minimum required hours, days, and evening hours for its population group (see chart below) between Labor Day and Memorial Day of each fiscal year. Summer hours are not used in measuring compliance, but the library must be open at least some hours each week, with posted weekly hours, during the summer period.

Libraries may close for renovations, emergencies, inclement weather, or for other typical reasons for closure, and still meet the Minimum Hours Open Requirement. However, a library may not close for financial reasons (i.e. closing to save utility costs, or to furlough employees, etc.) If the library closes for fiscal reasons, the library will lose its certification immediately upon closure.

Minimum Hours Open Requirement (per week, Labor Day to Memorial Day)

(Unless using the Hours Open Accommodation Policy)

Population Size Number of Hours Number of Days Portion of Day
Under 2,000 10 not specified including some evening hours
2,000 - 4,999 15 not specified including some evening hours
5,000 - 9,999 25 not specified including some evening hours
10,000 - 14,999 40 5 including some evening hours
15,000 - 24,999 50 5 including some evening hours
25,000 - 49,999 59 6 including some morning, afternoon, & evening hours
50,000 and over 63 6 including some morning, afternoon, & evening hours

Request for Flexibility: Per regulation, "each library shall be open at least the minimum required hours for its population group (refer to the minimum standards contained in 605 CMR 4.01(3). A library that is open the required hours for a larger population group may, by request of the Library Director and Chair of the Board of Trustees, expend the required materials expenditure for that population group. The request shall be made by filing a Notification of Request for Flexibility for the Materials Expenditure Requirement with the Board of Library Commissioners as part of the State Aid to Public Libraries Application."

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Page last updated on 02/9/2012