Earlier this summer, I checked the MU Ellis Library summer hours online at http://mulibraries.missouri.edu/about/hours.htm. I did not select the “detailed summer hours” link, because the summer hours are listed at the top of the page very clearly. After checking the hours, I had the understanding that Ellis library would be open on Sunday until 9pm. I stopped by on Sunday, only to find the library closed and locked. The hours posted on the door indicated that the library would be open M-Th until 9pm (consistent with the hours posted at the above site). When I stopped by on Monday after getting off work, the library again was closed! You can imagine my frustration. This time, the hours posted on the door had been updated to tell me that the library, as of that week, would only be open until 5pm. Because I had research to do for a professor at the library, I had to take off my other job early the next day in order to make it to the library before closing time. On Tuesday, I made it to Ellis at 4pm. Because I had a lot of books to check out, as well as a microform to view, I collected all the books and then sought assistance with the microform. The library assistance I received was pleasant, until I headed downstairs to check out. It was 4:55, and the circulation desk was closed. Fortunately, someone was still at the desk. Unfortunately, she was obnoxious to me in telling me that she could not check me out, despite all my previous inconvenience, simply because I had arrived at the desk a few minutes too late. She told me to return the following day. I informed her that I had already taken off work to get to the library that day, and that I could not do it a second day. She also would not hold the books for me, so that I could avoid the hassle of reshelving and refinding the books when I did return. Consequently, I decided to stay in the library to complete my research. I was approached by another individual who told me I needed to leave, because the library was closing, and that if I stayed I would have to take it up with security.
When I commented about the discrepancy with the hours, I was informed that “we” (I can only assume this means library employees) are not responsible for what is posted on the doors. I apparently should have checked the website, because that was accurate. First, I was put off, because I should not have to get online to confirm that the hours posted on the doors of an establishment are correct! Second, I checked the hours online at the above website, which confirmed that the library should have remained open on Sunday and until 9 during the week. The only way I was able to find the limited hours was by selecting the “detailed summer hours” link, which I was initially not inclined to do–after all, the hours were clearly posted right there, so I should have no reason to click on the other link.
My feedback is that the website and door hours should be more clear. Also, your employees need to be trained on customer service. Finally, the circulation desk should be open at least as late as the library itself is open, to allow people who are heading out at closing time to check out their books.
Thank you for your feedback. I will pass this along to the Libraries’ administration team. Ellis Library does have different hours of operation during different times of the year, which can be confusing. Last week we were operating on Intersession hours, which is why we closed at 5 pm. Also, there should have been an announcement letting you know that the Circulation desk would be closing before the Library was closed.
We will see what we can do to make the hours more clear on the door and on the website.