1988 Annual Report for the Lane Memorial Library

Submitted by William H. Teschek, Librarian

And Staff Of The Lane Memorial Library

Once again I am pleased to report that the library’s circulation for the past year has taken a jump over the previous year. In 1988 we circulated 129,704 books, magazines, CDs, videos, records, cassettes, museum tickets, framed art works and more, a jump of 5.1% over 1987. Much of this was undoubtedly due to the 1,015 new people who signed up for library cards last year. All this extra activity is placing an increasing burden on the library staff, and we are making every effort to continue providing the quality level of service our patrons have been enjoying. However the time has now come when the workload has surpassed the level at which a staff of our size can continue providing the same level of services. Our request to the Town for an additional librarian will hopefully by approved and we will be able to avoid any cuts in services.

The American Library Association has designated 1989 as the “Year of the Librarian” in an effort to bring to the American public a greater awareness of just what it is we do. Popular perceptions have librarians spending all of their time reading magazines or checking out mysteries to little old ladies, and when I looked at that way it is easy to see why there may be little understanding of why from time to time we need more staff. The reality is that we perform an incredible array of tasks from day to day, only one of which is the actual checking out of books from the circulation desk.

There are children’s programs that must be planned and implemented, usually including a staff member giving some type of performance for a group of children. Building maintenance problems must be dealt with. Everyone from school children to engineers are seeking information and need our help to find it. We have computers for the public to use, and people often need help in using them. We have cultural events such as art shows, symphony bus trips, and reading discussion groups, as well as educational and recreational programs for all ages, and all of these take a lot of work and planning. We have a large budget that must be planned, polished, payrolled, and piloted. Every book, magazine, video, etc. we receive must be cataloged and processed, and before that of course someone has to select them from the vast numbers of works being published today. Overdue books must be tracked down, statistics must be kept and counted, meetings must be attended, and broken copiers, computers, typewriters and microfilm machines must get fixed. And I could go on.

Among all of these things and more we are also working on preparations for the automation of our card catalog and circulation system. We hope to be “online” by Fall, and look forward to a more efficient circulation and cataloging system, as well as online access to the catalogs of dozens of libraries throughout the state of New Hampshire.

In closing, I would like to again thank everyone - staff, Trustees, volunteers and library patrons - who have worked to bring us continued successes in 1988.