A library in Osseo has expanded its hours by over 40% — with no staff most of the time
A library branch in Hennepin County is now operating without staff — most of the time.
This came as the city of Osseo wanted to offer patrons more days and hours to access the library.
The branch is located inside of Osseo city hall.
“It was it was open about 24 hours per week. And working with the Osseo government here, we were able to expand it to increase those hours by 42%,” said Scott Duimstar, Hennepin County Library Director.
Now, that branch location in Osseo has become a self-service model, with just a few staff in the morning.
“I have an 11 and 8-year-old, imagine them coming to the library, they have the freedom to browse whatever they like,” Duimstar noted.
Brooke Wahlstrom, who uses the local library regularly, says the new concept is convenient and exciting.
“There are so many more opportunities to access the library,” Wahlstrom said, adding, “it’s interesting that you can still print and access the books and return your books all through a virtual library.”
Patrons in Osseo can use a self-service kiosk to check out materials and there’s a phone nearby, so if you have any questions you can call a library staff.
The self-service model comes at a time when Hennepin County library usage is on track with pre-pandemic levels with over 11 million checkouts this year and 70,000 new library cards. Duimstra says many of the programs and services launched during the pandemic are still in place including no overdue fines unless it’s 40 days past your due date.
While the model gives hope to library systems looking at a new era, Hennepin County says there is no plan to expand the virtual model to other library branches at this time.