Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Yup, we're pretty busy these days....
January to June, 2007, total circulation: 115,115
January to June, 2008, total circulation: 121,560 a 5.6% increase the first six months.
Once again, this is an incredible growth figure, and truly reflects how the libraries are becoming an integral part of our residents’ lives. Most of you remember that we had a huge increase in circulation last year, and to have any growth at all from that figure is astonishing. Kudos to the staff, who have battled all manner of personal issues in 2008 and still managed to keep the doors open, the phones answered, and the customers satisfied.
It’s hard to decide what else to report on this month, since so much has been happening. The most dramatic has to be our burglary at the Anahuac library at the end of May. Who would want to break into a library? Well, we obviously have something worth coming for! Fortunately, nearly everything was recovered, and damaged equipment has been replaced.
Then we heard from the Universal Services Company, the people in charge of the “e-rate” discounts provided to libraries to help give patrons access to the world of the Internet. We were awarded discounts for another year, which makes 10 out of 11 years we got the goods. The total amount of discounts received, including this coming year, totals $132,107.00.
The new edition of the Chambers County Directory of Elected Officials came out this month, with updates for many of the local city governmental units, school board changes, etc., etc. This publication is very popular, and is distributed to all the offices listed in the Directory. Citizens can pick up personal copies at any of the libraries. A new edition will be out after the November elections, of course.
Thanks to some hard work at negotiation by the Judge, and some serious grading work by Road and Bridge, the library at Anahuac has some additional parking space to the west of the library. Staff are trying to use this new area to allow easier access for our older patrons near the front doors; we hope our healthier patrons will think about parking a few spaces down as well.
Oh yes, we’ve had a bit of Summer Reading going on this month, too! We have 600 children enrolled, and 463 children and adults have attended the programs just this month at the 3 libraries. The Chambers County Historical Commission provided special programs at each branch to coincide with the Sesquicentennial. Representatives appeared in costume, with props from the new museum, to teach the children about life in Chambers County all those years ago. It was quite successful, with the children asking all sorts of questions. It was also rather interesting to find out that several of our Hispanic mothers had used the old flatirons to iron clothes!
And it’s a good thing we have our Summer Helpers, courtesy of Commissioners’ Court. The students hired in this program provide immense amounts of assistance, not only in getting ready for programs, but in performing a wide variety of tasks that our regular staff can’t get to during the year.
The Friends of CCLS charged to Winnie for the second of their “triple header” book sales on June 6 and 7. This was the first time in several years that they held a sale there, and many folks responded, and bought books! Mont Belvieu is the last stop on the Book Sale run, scheduled for July 24 and 25. Those book sale profits came in especially handy this summer; both Winnie and Mont Belvieu literally wore out their DVD players, thanks to those movie programs they have, and the Friends bought new machines for each. The show must go on!