LIBRARY NEWS: The Latest Stats

Annually at this time of year, Meg Wempe, library director, prepares a report for the library’s board of trustees summarizing the highlights of the past year. The information also is used when your library applies for grants and it is shared with state, county and town governments to keep them informed.

Here is a condensed version of that report on 2016 operations:

• Major objectives achieved: Converted the Early Literacy collection from being catalogued by author to being organized in 11 different categories like you’ll find in a bookstore such as “things that go” (e.g., cars, trains, buses) so children can find what they want more easily, installed a self-checkout station and DVD dispenser, working on a plan to install a book return at the Uptown City Market, and formed a board subcommittee to write a new three-year strategic plan.

• Resource sharing: AspenCat allows our patrons access not only to the 28,745 items in our collection but also more than one million items in the other 106 AspenCat libraries. The Colorado Library Consortium courier service provides daily delivery to subscribing libraries throughout the state. In 2016 we borrowed 9,385 items – up 15.9 percent over 2015 – and loaned 2,638, up 21.6 percent. By taking advantage of the purchasing power of the State Library and Colorado Library Consortium, we subscribed to multiple educational databases at substantial savings, and purchased downloadable audio books, e-books and magazines. In 2016 our patrons downloaded 5,000 items and logged 432 sessions on our electronic databases, a decrease 32 percent.

• Collection development: Providing our patrons with materials that are current and relevant to the diverse interests of the community is one of our principal goals. In 2016 we added 3,685 items, including 597 from donations, and deleted 2,907 worn or outdated items. Our materials budget for 2017 is $52,885 or 9.6 percent of our total expenses.

• Usage stats: More than 91,000 patrons walked through our doors last year, a very slight increase over 2015. We checked out 98,589 items, a decrease of 4.8 percent from 2015. Public computer usage decreased four percent to 20,070 sessions, not counting patrons who used their own devices in the library or accessed our wireless service after hours.

• Programming: Providing programs for all ages is also a high priority. From early literacy to adult education, 6,190 people attended one or more of our 507 programs, up a significant 24 percent. Our programming budget is one percent of our total expenses.

• Donations, grants and volunteers: We are very fortunate to have the ongoing support of the community. In 2016 we received $7,414 in donations and $7,387 in grants, 2.7 percent of our total revenue. Our volunteers contributed 699 hours, about one-third of a full-time position.

• Continuing education: To continue to provide our community with the best possible service, several of our staff attended a variety of educational and networking opportunities last year. In 2017 staff education is one percent of our total budget.

Library closure

Your library will be closed Monday, February 20 for Presidents’ Day.

Activities calendars available
To be sure you don’t miss any of the free activities available to you and your families at your library, we encourage you to pick up a copy of the events calendar each month. There are three versions – kids, tweens/teens and adults.

One more free Valentine’s event tomorrow

Tomorrow (Friday, February 17) from 5-7 p.m. is an anti-Valentines lock-in for ages 12-17. This is food, games and activities for teens who are tired of a romantic Valentine’s Day. For your child to participate, you must fill out a permission slip to be presented upon entry. Pizza will be served.

Free all-ages movie tomorrow
Join us tomorrow (Friday, February 17) from 2-3:30 p.m. for a PG movie suitable for all ages. Our contract does not allow us to identify the film titles in the media but you can find them listed on the activities calendars.

Free all-ages art Saturday
This Saturday, February 18 from 3-4 p.m. our all-ages art session will feature pine cone suet birdfeeders. Have fun creating a unique feeder to feed the birds all winter long. No matter your age, please join us! All-ages art is offered every other Saturday.

Free book event for adults
Tomorrow (Friday, February 17) is the first day to pick up “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking,” a nonfiction book by Susan Cain, for a special book discussion on Saturday, March 18. The first 15 people will get a copy that is yours to keep. No registration required. This is a separate event from the adult book club, which meets the second Tuesday of each month from 2-3 p.m. to discuss alternating fiction and nonfiction titles.

Free Spanish conversation
Wednesday, February 22 from 4-5:30 p.m. practice your Spanish with others at this informal session. All are welcome, from beginners to native Spanish speakers. No registration required.

Free tech sessions
Rachael is available for Tech Tuesday 10 a.m.-noon and Tech Thursday 2-4 p.m. Drop in with your technology questions.

Free kids storytime
Every Wednesday from 10-11 a.m., join Michael for great stories, fun songs and plenty of reasons to get up and move. This is an excellent way for kids of all ages to have fun while building the skills they need to become independent readers.

Free baby storytime
Every Saturday from 9:05 to 9:25 a.m., join Michael for a short session of stories, songs and fingerplays for you and your little ones. Learn easy tips on how to include literacy skills into everyday family life.

Large print
“The Outfit: To Hell and Back” by Matthew P Mayo is a western. “The Midnight Bell” by Jack Higgins is a Sean Dillon thriller. “The Secrets of Wishtide” by Kate Saunders is a Laetitia Rood mystery. “The Old Man” by Thomas Perry is an adventure about a 60-year-old army intelligence officer on the run for 35 years. “Collecting the Dead” by Spencer Kope follows an FBI agent whose tracking ability depends on his ability to see “shine” from people. “Below the Belt” by Stuart Woods is a Stone Barrington mystery.

Nonfiction
“My Life, My Love, My Legacy” by Coretta Scott King is a memoir by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s wife. “Unbound” by Steph Jagger follows a woman who sold everything to ski four million vertical feet in a year. “The Virtuous Tart” by Susan Jane White provides more than 60 healthy, nutritious and sun recipes. “Lonely Planet’s Where To Go When” offers 360 suggestions for destinations around the world and the best time of year to go.

Thrillers and mysteries
“Right Behind You” by Lisa Gardner is a thriller set in Oregon. “The Sleepwalker” by Chris Bohjalian follows a mother who goes missing. “Clownfish Blues” by Tim Dorsey is about bad guys gaming the Florida State lottery.

Thanks to our donors
For books and materials this week we thank Benny Lohman and our anonymous donors. For her generous monetary donation we thank Muriel Eason.

Quotable Quote
“The trouble with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.” – Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), British philosopher, historian, writer, political activist and winner of the Nobel Prize for literature.

Website
For more information on library books, services and programs – and to reserve books, e-books, CDs and DVDs from the comfort of your home – please visit our website.

Carole Howard & Library Staff

The Ruby Sisson Memorial Library has been located at 811 San Juan Street (corner of S. 8th and Hwy 160) since 1989. The library is overseen by the Upper San Juan Library District, a tax-funded special district in Archuleta County.