Submitted by Amanda L. Reynolds Cooper, Library Director
The Lane Memorial Library is a library in motion. This was especially evident in 2009. The old standard of visiting the library and borrowing books is still a vibrant community activity in Hampton. Our 12,273 card holders - 80% of the Town - borrowed items from the collection 169,524 times, roughly 561 items a day last year, spread over 128,238 visits to the building.
Add to that time honored tradition:
|Reference databases||17,386 uses|
|Special events||190 events|
and you begin to see what a year in the life of your local library is like.
There was also a great deal of motion among the library staff. This year we said goodbye to two outstanding staff members: Alice Alford and Barbara Chapman both retired after 23 and 14 years respectively. As we have been missing their sure, competent service we have also been getting to know and training new staff members. Bob Rice joined us at the Circulation Desk for a brief time before heading to the Pelham Public Library as their Director and we are now welcoming Kathleen Hall into our ranks. Wendy Rega was added to Children's Services as Kirsten Corbett's position was reshaped to include Reference Services as well as Young Adult Services. In March, I myself was welcomed back to the library as a full-time staff member after a joyful maternity leave. Stacy Mazur, who celebrated her first anniversary with Lane also began another exciting library first, she completed her first semester of the Master's Degree program at The University of Rhode Island to obtain a degree in library science.
The Board of Trustees has seen many changes this past year as well. Richard Larkin was elected to the seat left vacant by Sara Cassasa, after her many years of service, but resigned the position in July. Bob Lamothe came forward to take Richard's place in August. Bridgit Valgenti also found it necessary to resign her position in 2009. Richard Laskey was appointed to her place in the last weeks of the year.
A major change in 2009 that might go unnoticed by many patrons is the addition of new shelving on the main floor of the library. We were able to purchase near matches for our existing shelves and take advantage of underutilized space. The result was a 12% increase in shelving space without any major changes to the layout of the library. We did take the opportunity that the new shelving provided to relocate the Teen Section to a more spacious and accessible location.
A more noticeable and exciting change is the addition of the Weston Theater to the Wheaton J. Lane Room. The theater provides high definition images and high fidelity sound for our audio-visual events. Movies and gaming events within the library have taken a giant leap forward and will never be the same.
Not many things performed 4% better in 2009 but overall, Lane loaned almost 4% more items in 2009 than 2008. Children's items as a stand alone collection circulated 4.5% more - the largest increase for any sub collection. Items that we didn't own we were able to borrow 97% of the time, providing 1,288 items requested that might otherwise have cost patrons money to purchase.
In 2009 we added a new genre of book to loan as well: graphic novels. These exciting books are being loaned by libraries all over the country and with the expansion and rearrangement of our shelving we are finally able to offer these materials presented separately for the adult and young adult audiences.
Reference & Technology
If patrons didn't check out an item in 2009 they probably received public service from the Reference Department. In 2009 we answered 8,900 questions and assisted patrons with computers 1,380 times. The number of times that the magazine and newspaper databases as well as the genealogical, biographical, and encyclopedic databases were used to answer questions, 17,386 times, also represents the direct and indirect efforts of the department.
As Facebook and Twitter have transitioned from use in college communities to use by the broader public, Lane has followed the trend. We now offer updates, event reminders, library trivia, and useful tech tips via both networking services in addition to maintaining our events blog.
Two significant changes to our website in 2009 merit mention. We began accepting book orders and interlibrary loan requests online. Patrons are able to fill out a short web form and know that their item will be found by the quickest means possible and held for them at the library. We also upgraded our integrated library software which included a new interface for our online catalog.
The 190 events mentioned above run the gamut from classic library storytimes to lecture series on ergonomic health. We held events for patrons as young as 15 months and provided information and entertainment for our oldest patrons too.
Every year we provide events in conjunction with the Hampton schools such as the Percy Jackson Mythology Bee this year. We also host an annual favorite, our Summer Reading programs for children, young adults, and adults.
What would a library be without author talks and book groups? - we hosted several authors in 2009 and continuously host 3 book groups.
Some other events throughout the year included:
Puppet Making Workshop
Teen Tech Week - Rock Band
National Gaming Day
Cooking with Katie
National Library Week events
Movie matinees and nights
Stuffed Animal Sleepover
Harry Potter Phenomenon presentation
Polar Express Party
Matting and Framing seminar
"Path to publication" lecture series
So much of what we accomplished in 2009 was done with the help and support of volunteers. Each of the items that circulated 169,524 times had to be placed back on the shelf and almost without exception that work was done by a volunteer. One of our longest serving shelving volunteers, Erna Seavey, shelved her last book in 2009. After 25 years she has retired after doing a world of service for Lane and for the town of Hampton. Erna, thank you.
The new shelving mentioned above that allows us more room for growth would have been empty shelves without volunteers shifting all of our materials onto the new, free space.
This year 2 groups, the Hampton Garden Club and the Hampton Democrats, volunteered to prune and clean our library grounds. The efforts of these groups made a tremendous difference in our curbside appearance in the Spring.
In 2009 we added 7,748 new items. Each of these items needed plastic covering, labels, call numbers and more to be shelf ready - at Lane that work is also done primarily by volunteers.
In total 1,849 hours of work were donated by volunteers in 2009. At Lane Memorial Library base pay that would amount to $20,339 in staffing costs - a sizeable donation.
Friends of the Library
The Friends of the Library are a wonderful support and fundraising vehicle for the library. Many of the volunteers mentioned above have come to us through the Friends, mostly for the large, hard to accomplish projects. In 2009 all the Friends of the Library favorites were there: book sales including the 1st grade book sales, doll clothes sales, Valentine's Sweetheart Tea, and the Red Sox raffle.
Through their contributions we have added to the library in a variety of ways. In particular in 2009 we were able to purchase new soft, light weight meeting room chairs to enhance enjoyment of the Weston Theater.
The Hampton community has a library that should be a source of pride as well as enrichment and entertainment. It has been my pleasure to serve as the library Director in 2009 and I look forward to many years of serving this special community. On behalf of the staff of the library and the Board of Trustees I would like to thank the community for its support, your many donations, and the volunteer hours that you have spent at the library.
Amanda L. Reynolds Cooper,
Mary Lou Heran, Chair & Treasurer
Linda Sadlock, Vice-chair
Debra Perry, Secretary
Kris Sawyer, Alternate
Robert Frese, Alternate
Susan Hughes, Alternate