Submitted by Catherine Redden, Library Director
The Lane Memorial Library has successfully navigated 2001, its first full year under the new organization of four departments working together as a team. TEAM means Together Everyone Achieves More. The library's goal for 2001 was improvement of Customer Service. Everyone worked towards that goal with suggestions on ways to improve service. In response to requests for longer circulating videos, staff pulled existing two week videos from the shelves and displayed them on a special rack. Staff initiated a new method of dealing with the great numbers of people wanting to use the computers in the summer, and began a new method of dealing with paper for printing items from a public computer. In response to requests for more hours, a trial period of extending evening hours two nights a week was begun in November. Staff development included various staff attending local, state, and national library meetings; participating in local adult education courses as well as utilizing online sessions, and inviting speakers to monthly staff meetings on topics such as dealing with young adults and wellness. Staff development for 2001 culminated in November with setting additional library goals for 2002.
Adult Services is in charge of the upstairs circulating collection. Its budget buys new books, videos, books on tape, books on CD and music CD's. Jeanne Gamage and her staff of Barbara Chapman, Sandra Kent, Elli Cyr, and Mary Twomey greet you, check your materials in and out, and direct you to computers, bathroom keys, and to the Reference Department for further assistance. Jeanne coordinates with the library departments to schedule programs of interest to all age groups. The year started with her coordinating with the Town Department of Parks and Recreation for a Winter Camping program. She continued to coordinate with other town groups such as the Garden Club and the Public Works Department to bring several programs on gardening, tool sharpening, pruning and a source of low cost compost bins. Local authors Jerry McConnell, Dusty Bunker, Virginia Taylor, and Emily Moore were scheduled to speak about writing and being published. The art displays by the Seacoast Art Association and the Hampton Academy 6th grade are coordinated through Adult Services. Two new craft projects offered to the public, a cranberry pineapple and paper cutting for the holidays, were extremely popular. Programs are advertised in the local papers and on our WEB SITE. The library is open to suggestions for programs of interest to you; call Jeanne at 926-3368.
Children's Services, in charge of all children's and young adult fiction, has broken a record this year! Cindy Stosse's goal, almost from the time she was hired, was to prove that children's circulation could beat adult circulation. Children's circulation reached 51.69% in October! During the year Cindy and her staff of Joanne Mulready and Lynda Miller, with assistance from Mary Twomey, delivered children's story times and special programs such as a Patriotic Party, Worm Races, Pajama Story Times, and the new Children's Birthday Book Club as well as a repeat of the very popular Polar Express party. Throughout the year Cindy has been examining the collection in Katie's Room (named in honor of former longtime trustee Katie Anderson). She has weeded out worn, dated, little used materials and replaced and upgraded them. Puppets continue to be a popular circulating item along with some new paperback series. It is not unusual to find a contingent of parents camped out in the Children's Room while a child is in story time. A parenting collection offers materials right there so parents don't have to pull little ones along as they check the upstairs collection. A new teacher's section was added to provide assistance for teachers, parents, and care givers. The summer reading program, Octopi Your Mind proved popular and participants were entertained by speakers and performers such as the Sea Shanty Singers. This summer's greatest reading incentive was the raffle prize provided by Wal-Mart, a children's bicycle!
Reference Services underwent another transition this year. Joanne Straight left us for a similar position in New Bern North Carolina, much to our chagrin. Joanne was a valuable member of the Lane Library staff for over ten years and we hated to see her leave. While we searched for a replacement, interim coverage was provided by remaining department heads, exemplifying the TEAM concept. We are pleased to have hired Stan Olson away from the Reference Desk at People Magazine. Stan is originally from Massachusetts so he isn't a stranger to the area. He and Alice Alford are the core of the Reference Department with Bill Teschek taking a shift and Jeanne Gamage and myself covering lunches and sick days. Reference has taken over the responsibility of searching for interlibrary loan materials so if you need material we don't own, ask the Reference Staff to get the book on loan. (If what you're looking for is new and apt to be popular, see Jeanne Gamage in Adult Services to request that the library buy the item. If the requested item fits into our collection development plan and we decide to purchase it, you will be the first on the list to receive it with a special bookmark - We bought this book for YOU!) Bill and Alice have been coaching Stan on our newspaper indexing project and all three of them are working in less busy times to try to catch up on that. If you need to find a story that was recently in the local papers, check our web site www.hampton.lib.nh.us for a link to the indexing project. Stan and Bill coordinate efforts to keep our reference page on our web site up to date with current material.
Technical Services is our smallest department consisting of Bill Teschek and Jean Keefe. Bill is our webmaster and technical expert, maintaining 35 computers and the library's web site, while Jean catalogs and processes all the materials obtained by the library. Without these two people, the library would be back in the dark ages where materials would be numbered in the order acquired and kept in strict numerical sequence, regardless of subject. Access to information would be dependent on someone knowing what each book was about and remembering its number! With Bill and Jean's expertise, everything in the library has its unique place and is listed in several ways for people to find it. Books and other materials of similar content are shelved together, making research on any topic easier. Need to fix an appliance? Jean's cataloging will have given the book its unique number, and Bill's technical skills will have linked that record to our automated card catalog so you can find it. Bill offers free classes on computer topics, both before we open in the morning and after we close in the evening. Call Bill at 926-3368 for more information on what courses he offers.
Volunteer Services enables the library to function and enhances services to the public. Regularly scheduled volunteers appear daily to reshelve books, mend materials, sort donations, organize materials, prepare new books for circulation, reshelve new items, place back issues of periodicals and newspapers in storage and help us in many other ways. We couldn't do it without them. Our volunteer extraordinaire, Arlene Farrell, has decided to finally retire after many years of service to the Lane Memorial Library, (the exact number of years she wouldn't admit to, but we know it's more than thirty!) She is also known in the community for her many years of substitute teaching and her ongoing sewing business. She leaves a legacy of service that will be hard to beat, but John Holman is trying. Arlene has longevity, but John has endurance. He spends hours daily putting historical information on our web site, making it the envy of most libraries around the state, if not around the country! If you too would like to make a difference, stop in and see Jeanne Gamage, Head of Adult Services, for a volunteer application.