Submitted by Amanda L. Reynolds Cooper, Library Director
By the numbers
The full collection of the library in 2013 totaled 73,470 titles. Over the course of the year 8,058 titles were added and 4,681 titles were removed. There were 12,799 registered patrons last year.
|Circulated materials||193,356||(189,276 in 2012)|
|Visits||131,388||(136,257 in 2012)|
|Computer uses||19,298||(27,347 in 2012)|
|Reference questions||5,199||(7,910 in 2012)|
|Programs||320||(308 in 2012)|
|Program attendees||7,000||(7,204 in 2012)|
Each year at the helm of Lane Memorial Library has felt like a whirlwind. Looking back over 2013 I can say that the changes, events, and everyday services provided by the library really were incredible. In July we circulated the highest number of materials and issued the most new library cards for any month in Hampton history. It was also a record breaking year for the Children’s Services Summer Reading Program which attracted more participants than ever before (451 children) resulting in the most reading hours logged (7,000 hours).
Our new successes owe a debt to our expanded summer hours on Saturdays. Historically the library shifted from a full day of service, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., to only a half day of service, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., from the conclusion of school in June until the weekend following Labor Day. In 2013 we maintained a full day of service every Saturday serving, on average, 73 more people and circulating 42% more materials compared to Summer Saturdays in 2012. By any measure the expanded hours were a success and they will be continued.
Our website, which has always been an excellent repository for local articles and history, received a much needed visual and organizational overhaul. We are proud of the genealogical and historical resources we are able to provide on our site and we maintained all of them on the new site, lanememoriallibrary.org. We did conduct a short survey after the launch in April but welcome feedback and questions at any time. The online catalog to search for library materials was also updated in 2013 by the vendor. The new catalog is much more visually appealing and several of the search features are similar to familiar online sites such as Amazon which will improve the user experience.
Staff and Trustees
This year we lost a diligent and hard working librarian to warmer climes and a new chapter in her life. Marija Sanderling was the Head of Reference Services for nine years and spent that time in constant service to patrons and the library. With her departure the library undertook a major restructuring of departments and staff, combining the Adult Services and Reference Services departments into one – Public Services, and adding positions to support the new department. Kathleen Hall was promoted to Public Services Assistant Librarian and Stan Olson was hired as the Interlibrary Loan Assistant Librarian. Stan has worked for LML previously as the Head of Reference Services and, most recently, has been a substitute Reference Librarian.
At the main circulation desk we welcomed a new Library Assistant, Lisa Beaudry, and said goodbye to Mary Twomey after 15 years of faithful service. Downstairs too, the circulation desk has seen changes. Julie Gibb emigrated with her family across the Atlantic to England, both a happy and sad occasion, but we got the chance to welcome Nicole Cico to our regular staff roster. Nicole has previously been a substitute Children’s Services Associate.
Finally, Kirsten Rundquist Corbett resigned her position as Teen Services Librarian after 6 years for a chance to direct the Sandown Public Library. The growth and expansion of Teen Services at LML is a testament to her service and I hope that Stacy Mazur will continue to advocate for teen patrons as she adjusts to her new role as head of the department. The final staff member to be welcomed in 2013, Kevin Robbitts, is the new Technical Services Librarian – filling the post vacated by Stacy.
In addition to a changing staff in 2013 we also had a changing Board of Trustees. Two Trustees stepped down during the year for personal reasons: Richard Laskey and Mary Lou Heran. Each was replaced by an appointment from the Board of Selectman. Richard and Mary Lou were contributors to and authors of many library successes during their years as Trustees and we were sorry to have them leave the Board. Even as we adjust to administering the library without them we have welcomed and enjoyed the contributions of Diane Crow and Rev. Deborah Knowlton.
2013 was also a busy year for the library. With the help of the Department of Public Works and the approval of the Board of Selectmen we expanded the number of handicap parking spaces adjacent to the building to three. We also automated the interior sets of doors, eliminating the “call for assistance” doorbell.
We completed the lighting project begun in 2012, with the unlikely renovation of painting the ceiling. The original plan calculated a certain percentage of “glow” from the indirect lighting that bounces off the ceiling. With 28 year old paint our “glow” was significantly under the expected percentage. We were able to paint the ceiling over a two week period and remain open using a lot of plastic sheeting, creative foot traffic patterns through secondary doors, and patience. The result is a light and airy library.
In the children’s room in 2013 we added a self-checkout station. We are unable to provide double coverage of staff members during all of the library’s 60 hour week for the children’s circulation desk. The self-checkout station provides a much needed relief valve for busy periods in the evening and on Saturdays. Also new in the children’s room in 2013 were the shelves that hold the non-fiction books. The pervious shelves were unsuited to that collection because of their size. There were numerous instances of books falling over and off the shelves, sometimes causing injury. The new shelves are lower, creating a better sight line throughout the room and hold the books without allowing them to spill off and onto the floor.
In 2013 we were the recipients of a wonderful gift from the UNH Dimond Library. As unlikely as it sounds, they had a spare service desk that they didn’t need and we had a desk in need of replacement. The Dean of the Library, Annie Donahue, was a friend of former library Director Catherine Redden and the desk was given as a gift in her honor. We made a few modifications and are now one service desk richer. We hope to finish replacing the entire service area upstairs in 2014. With the new desk came an opportunity to rewire the library’s telecommunications hub in a clean, safe, and more logical manner. This should allow for modifications in the future to be achieved more easily.
Programs have been and continue to be a large part of what we do at Lane Memorial Library. Books, movies, and magazines are just the jumping off point for an experience in learning or entertainment. Each member of the staff genuinely enjoys interacting with patrons and their families. We provide programs year-round, on various days of the week, and all times of the day that we are open – far too many to name here. New and/or notable this year:
- During February break Children’s Services hosted various events daily including a paper airplane rodeo and a Dr. Seuss birthday party. The week’s events had 181 participants
- On May the 4th Star Wars Day / Free Comic Book Day events where hosted all day including Star Wars cookie decorating and, of course, movie watching. The events had 75 participants
- Events during the Adult Summer Reading program included topics on sudoku puzzles, bird watching, hiking, the history of tavern keeping in Hampton, and the making of stone walls
- The library participated in the 375th anniversary of the founding of the Town. We made crafts with children and presented several historical displays
- We hosted several authors during the year including George Harvey, K.D. Mason, Joseph Monninger, Brad Boucher, Gary Patton, and Cheryl Lassiter
- 2nd Annual Soup of the Americas family soup cook-off on Columbus Day
- The Weston Theater and Gallery presented local artists monthly
In 2013 volunteers donated 2,045 hours of their time, for which the library cannot thank them enough. In shelving and processing books, in indexing the Hampton Union for our database, and in various special projects these volunteers have given $22,495 worth of labor.
It is my pleasure to serve the Hampton community and to work with the staff and Board of the Lane Memorial Library.
Amanda L. Reynolds Cooper,