The Kingston Frontenac Public Library is considering the use of technology to extend access to our Pittsburgh Branch. Extended Hours would supplement our existing hours of operation to provide access to space and resources that would otherwise be inaccessible for many hours a week.
An expansion of library services at this location has been in the Library’s capital plan for several years. The 2004 Kingston Frontenac Public Library Branch Services Review noted that east Kingston lacks sufficient space to meet this growing community’s needs.
A major renovation and expansion is in the Library’s capital plan for 2026, and the Extended Hours project would increase access until this work is completed.
The Extended Hours Project has been included in the 2022 capital plan and our budget request to the City of Kingston.
KFPL staff will engage the community and seek feedback on the project following the approval of the Library's 2022 budgets.
How would Extended Hours work?
A combination of a door keypad, self-service check in and checkout, video surveillance, and a video phone to contact support staff located at another branch would allow access and support. Self-service technology that is already in place at KFPL would enable patrons to borrow and return materials, and to access public computers and Wi-Fi.
What services would be available during Extended Hours?
Patrons would be able to borrow and return materials, pick up reservations, and access public computers and Wi-Fi. They would also be able to use library space to study and connect with others in the community.
What if I need help when staff aren’t in the branch?
During Extended Hours, KFPL staff working at other branches would provide remote support via a dedicated video/phone link.
What safety considerations have been taken into account?
Similar technology is in place in other libraries in Ontario where video surveillance, clear separation of staff and public areas and the pre-registration process have proven effective in safeguarding library property and materials. A comprehensive security review would identify and mitigate other health and safety concerns before the program is launched. Safety measures would also be discussed with the community during our engagement process.
Who will be able to use Extended Hours?
Access would require a Kingston Frontenac Public Library card and PIN. Having patrons agree in writing to terms and conditions would increase accountability and understanding of mutual responsibilities. Some libraries that use this technology have additional requirements such as age limits.
What will the hours of service be?
Extended Hours would be in addition to the existing hours of operation. Our Branch Hours Review that is currently underway will help determine which days of the week and times of day would be best suited to Extended Hours, and which would most benefit from on-site staff.
Will staffing levels be impacted?
This project would provide access to the branch beyond the currently staffed hours of operation. It would not impact staffing levels or result in a reduction of staffed hours at the branch in order to introduce this service.
Why is the library proposing this instead of hiring more staff?
The Pittsburgh Branch is currently closed on Mondays, Fridays and Sundays. The Extended Hours project could increase access to the library by 22 hours a week. An increase of this magnitude is well beyond the budgetary constraints within which the Library is working.
Will this initiative expand to other library branches?
This would be a pilot project. If successful, this technology may be considered as one option for expansion of service in rural communities.
How would the Extended Hours project be evaluated?
Patrons, community partners and staff would be surveyed at regular intervals. The Library would also track and review metrics such as visits, circulation, registration and issues/incidents.
How can I get involved in the community engagement for this project?
Updates on the process will be posted on the Engage KFPL website, and will be shared on our website and social media channels. We will also use our newsletters and in-branch displays to connect community members to the discussion.
Questions or additional comments can be directed to Kimberly Sutherland Mills, Director, Service Design and Delivery, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (613) 549-8888 x3520.