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After-Hours Community Room Access

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After-Hours Community Room Access

Dayton Metro Library, Ohio

Customer Experience | 2019

Innovation Summary

Dayton Metro Library offers access to quality meeting room space outside of library operating hours. At select branch locations, a separate keypad allows for limited access to designated spaces. This technology, plus a well-vetted policy and modest fee structure, provides an enhanced customer experience.

Problem Statement

DML is in the midst of a major facilities plan, significantly renovating or newly constructing 18 library buildings. Before design, DML goes to the community to discuss unique assets to be incorporated into the branch. Across the region, affordable access to meeting room space is a priority issue. Neighbors were looking for places to host early morning or late night meetings, and falling short. At the same time, quality meeting room spaces were sitting empty during the hours that the library was not open.


Innovation

New library branches offer a professional setting, central location, ample parking and access to A/V and furnishings. By leveraging a well-crafted policy, rental agreement and enhanced security technology, DML offers these spaces for use outside library hours. For-profit, private groups pay a modest fee that covers library expenses (determined with extensive feedback from community partners), and DML absorbs the cost for use by nonprofits. Now, patrons can “check-out” a meeting room, even when the library isn’t open.


Progress

As of this writing, eight branches offer this service, and the community loves the increased access. In the last six months, Community Rooms have been reserved more than 200 times for before- or after-hour use. Usage varies from Chamber of Commerce events, Board of Education meetings, educational sessions hosted by nonprofit groups, a religious group who visits every Sunday while they are building a new church, financial wellness seminars and even private parties such as retirements and birthday celebrations.