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Extended Hours Initiative

Broward County Library, Florida

Innovation Summary

In 2015, Broward County Libraries launched a new service model designed to increase the library’s service days and hours without additional staff and budget. This was accomplished through a combination of consolidating public service desks, cross training, roving services and greater visibility for self-checkout supported by a multichannel marketing campaign.

Problem Statement

During the 2008 recession, BCL reduced service hours in response to budget cuts still in effect in 2015. The challenge was to meet customers’ needs for increased service hours within the library’s existing resources. Research identified customers’ preferences for days/hours of operation and self-checkout opinions/usage, which led to a plan for more hours of service and implementation of the Fast Lane, increasing ability for customers to independently check out and retrieve library materials on hold.


At large libraries, service points were combined using a common-sense approach and single points of service were identified in smaller locations. Staff were tasked with roving wherever possible, eliminating barriers between staff and customers and releasing staff from desk duty provided greater opportunities for engagement with the public. Libraries added 26 more self-checkout stations and rebranded as Fast Lane, featuring new signage, software, bookmarks and custom mats to create an improved customer experience.


BCL now offers 152 more hours weekly, increasing access to library resources. BCL was able to meet the organizational need for assistant branch managers, a critical component of providing extended service hours. Today most library locations that offer 48 open hours weekly never provided more than 40 hours weekly pre-recession. Fast Lane received a National Association of Counties Award of Excellence and named by NACo as one of the nation’s top 100 innovative initiatives.