The Mattapoisett Free Public Library will soon offer Sunday hours from 1:00 to 4:00 pm, hoping to make library resources available to patrons who might not otherwise find time to visit the library during the week.
In addition, the library is planning a number of Sunday afternoon cultural and musical events, something the library has not done before. Library Director Susan Pizzolato says she hopes the events will give families a chance to come out and enjoy the library together.
“There have been lots of focus groups and conversations in the community to find out what people needed,” said Pizzolato. “It’s an experiment to see if the community responds to the opportunity.”
Pizzolato said a significant population of the library’s patrons has to work during the week, making it difficult to find time to come to the library. Pizzolato added that older patrons are sometimes reluctant to come to the library when it approaches dark, limiting their accessibility to the library even further.
The library is currently open Tuesday through Saturday, from 10:00 am until 8:00 pm on Tuesday and Wednesday, from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm on Thursday and Friday, and from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm on Saturday, for a total of 40 hours. The library will add three more hours on Sundays, beginning March 2 up until Memorial Day weekend, when the library will return to its regular Tuesday through Saturday schedule.
“When it’s summertime in a seaside community, people are more social and tend to use Sundays more for a day at the beach,” said Pizzolato, “so [Sunday hours] are less needed.”
Pizzolato said the Town supports the idea of opening the library on Sunday, but she said she wants to see Town resources utilized responsibly, so they will be monitoring Sunday attendance numbers. She stated that if the turnout is less than they had anticipated, they might reconsider offering Sunday hours again in September.
“But so far there’s been a lot of excitement,” said Pizzolato. She said many library patrons have posted comments on the library’s Facebook page, expressing excitement and enthusiasm for the new Sunday hours.
The library’s first Sunday afternoon event will be on March 9 when Michael Ponsor will read from his first novel, The Hanging Judge. In 2001, Judge Ponsor presided over the first death penalty case in Massachusetts in over 50 years. The event is free and begins at 2:00 pm.
By Jean Perry