1996 Annual Report for the Lane Memorial Library

Submitted by Catherine Redden, Library Director

Have you checked out our web site on the Internet yet? Check us out at http://www.hampton.lib.nh.us. 1996 has been a year of technological advances for the library. At the March Town Meeting people overwhelmingly approved a warrant article to establish a Reference/Technology position with someone trained to hook us up to the Internet. We explained that the warrant article was not for equipment, but to hire someone with Internet expertise who could also serve as a Reference librarian, a position we have needed for years. We were fortunate in the summer to obtain the services of Bobb Menk, formerly the corporate librarian at Bolt, Beranek, and Newman of Cambridge. Bobb, in his former job, was working with some of the people who started the Internet! His job of bringing the Internet to the library was complicated by the fact that he had to work with existing equipment. Thanks to the Trustees, who tapped into an automation fund set up years ago via donations, we were able to upgrade some of the library equipment. The Internet is now accessible through all the work stations of the library!

The second big change involved the hiring of Margaret Gleeson as Children's Librarian. Margaret's seventeen years of professional experience have helped her with the busy summer reading program and new story hour programs. There is now a program for two year old children. Her storytelling ability has impressed both the children and the adults fortunate enough to hear her. A new after school program involving the states run by Margaret and Karen Ryan, also of the Children's Room, has been popular and has covered Massachusetts, Virginia, and Arkansas before the holidays. Joanne Mulready keeps the Children's Room decorated for the seasons and provides lists of monthly birthdays of famous people for the children to read. Mary Fiumara staffs the Children's Room evenings and Saturdays.

Other staff changes were few. Lori Steenson moved and her hours were divided among existing staff. Bill Teschek, Assistant Director, headed the search for the new Reference/Internet position. In addition to keeping the automated circulation system up to speed, Bill orders all the music compact discs, catalogs the new materials added to the library ,and is in charge of our faithful volunteers who reshelve our books and magazines and do special projects. Joan Kahl, Circulation Desk Supervisor, has the responsibility for adding large print books and books on tape to the collection. Both areas have seen large increases in use. Jean Keefe has been busier than ever processing Interlibrary loan requests, both from our customers and from other libraries. Overdues are increasing as the circulation increases and that keeps Jean busy trying to track down the materials. Alice Alford and Joanne Straight share Reference Desk duties as well as Circulation Desk duties. Joanne also had charge of setting up the Dearborn Room as a Young Adult Room when we moved the computers out of there. Megan Kilburn processes the audio books and CD's and writes out the book orders for the Adult Collection. Barbara Chapman works the Circulation desk and is still our faithful substitute when others are ill.

The Lane Memorial Library Trustees work quietly behind the scenes. Jim Inglis is Mr. Fix-It for the library. He has sealed the handicapped ramp, cut lumber to fit the CD shelves, and mended a broken chair, just to mention a few fix-its. Tom Donaldson keeps us abreast of the news, Katie Anderson provides encouraging words all year round, Betty Anne Lavallee has prompted a new book discussion group, and Chair, Jerry McConnell keeps us all on the right track.

It was a busy year with Circulation figures reaching a grand total of 167,849 items! That's up 8,490 items over 1995. We have 8,604 registered library users taking an average of 19.5 items a year. Since most children and many adults take more than that a month, it tells us that we have many people using the facility for research, computer use, and just perhaps for our ambience! We certainly have people who come in daily to check the stock reports and mutual funds and others who come in to read the newspapers without checking out any items. Computer use is a new statistic as we have started signing people up for computer use and it is increasing monthly, from 139 the first month we counted to a high of 348. We have registered 1,386 new users this year. Some are long time residents who are just now renewing a former card, others are children receiving their first card, and still others are new residents to the town.

We are looking forward to offering the Town in 1997 a new level of service with our additional reference help and Internet access.