How we should notify you of possible changes to our research room and museum hours of operation?

The following is a guest post from Stuart Culy and Laura McCarthy of the Policy and Planning Staff

NARA wants your thoughts on how we should notify you of possible changes to our research room and museum hours of operation.  Our thought is to allow each NARA facility to make its own determination about room and museum hours of operation.  If the decision is made that the hours need to be changed, we will post the suggested changes and the reasons why so you have an opportunity to comment or make suggestion.   We want to include you in the process early so that we can get your input before we make any changes.  What do you suggest?

We also would like to hear from you about where you find you information about our research room and museum hours of operation.  The operating hours are currently published in the Code of Federal Regulations, on our web sites and are also on facilities’ out-going voicemail systems.  What would you recommend? 

If you would rather contact us privately, please send us an e-mail at

Send your feedback by July 20 to be sure that your voice is heard!

Please note that no changes in hours are currently planned for any NARA facility.

6 thoughts on “How we should notify you of possible changes to our research room and museum hours of operation?

  1. I think that changes to operating hours should be justified with statistics. If there are changes due to low researcher numbers or funding shortage or whatever, then the reason should be stated in advance of the change so that visitors know why a change is proposed. I’m not sure if this is done this way right now or not.


    Meredith Stewart

  2. I also agree that changes to hours should be justified to the public to avoid dissatisfaction. I think it is important communicate changes through a variety of outlets, to ensure the message reaches the largest audience possible. Ideal locations would be a prominent place on the web site homepage, posted signs around the building as well as social media outlets and e-mail distribution lists.

  3. On what platforms would you consider letting visitors know about such changes? I agree that it is important to cross post such news from various outlets to ensure that word is spread thoroughly. It may also be inconsistent to extend this power to each individual facility without some restrictions. For example, a facility should be required to hold a change in hours for a minimum of six months or more. Mainly because most people need this kind of advance notice to plan trips to various facilities.

    1. Hi everyone,

      Thanks for your comments and the ideas for notifying you about changes in hours. I’ve passed them along to the Policy and Planning Staff. I also asked them to provide me with some information about what is currently done to notify people about changes in hours. I’ll post it here as soon as I receive it.

      – Rebecca

  4. Normally, NARA would publish a notice of proposed rule making or an interim final rule in the Federal Register, open for public comment for a certain number of days, indicating the proposed changes and reasons for them. Public hearings may or may not be held (they were held in 2006). Comments would be considered and a final rule would be posted in the Federal Register and eventually, the CFR Signs indicating new hours would be posted in research rooms, constituent organizations would be notified via e-mail, and new hours would be posted on

  5. @Oralia Vasquez: Each facility would use whatever platforms it normally uses to contact its constituents, including blogs, Facebook, Twitter, its own web pages, the main NARA web page, press releases, e-mail mailing lists (if they have one), listservs, etc.

    You make a good point about individuals planning trips to facilities ahead of time, and the need for consistency on our part. We will take that into consideration when drafting the final language.

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