Rushing from my work library to my public library this afternoon I was thinking how annoying being there near closing time is. At quarter to, when I still think there's plenty of time to gather a couple more books and get them checked out, they go around telling everyone its time to leave. At five of, the lights go off. No joke. At the hour of closing, all the workers are out the front door and walking to their cars.
Now, I understand how terrible it is to be working someplace and be kept late by an annoying and inconsiderate customer. And I understand how these things snowball - five minutes, ten minutes, suddenly its half an hour you've just volunteered at your own work place (believe me, I know - this is what is happening to me at my work/library).
So perhaps, in my dreams, they'd pay the workers an extra fifteen minutes for the closing type tasks. So they could still kick the people out on time, but they could turn the lights off after, and shut down their computers and the copy machine. All those things that don't take long but when added together means you've just worked an extra fifteen minutes after the last patron left.
Just doesn't feel good when people turn the lights out on you.
Seems Jessamyn is talking similar talk over on librarian.net: balancing the happiness (work hours) of staff with the needs and happiness of the patrons.