Monday, November 03, 2008


After the Storm...

The long reach of Hurricane Ike continues to touch our library patrons, as evidenced by this month’s statistics. The count for people visiting the library is up from last year, and computer use is up from last year; both of these statistics bear out the traffic we are getting post-storm with faxes to FEMA and filing online. (Libraries aren’t just for readers anymore…) Usage of materials is down a bit; for many of our residents, loss of their homes, or items in their homes, prohibits them from using our materials. We are heartened greatly that our circulation has climbed hugely since the storm, but we will just have to wait out the next two months to see how much bearing Ike has on our year totals.

Programming attendance is very good; our children’s librarians have done a wonderful job not only of planning programs that invite youngsters back, but of expanding the traditional programming to include more than pre-schoolers. We had 660 children and adults attending children’s programs this month, and if you add the adult program attendance and the young adult programs at Anahuac, we reached well over 700 of our citizens! Programming for MetHeadstart, home-schooled children, and visits to school classrooms expand the traditional idea of service to youngsters. And of course, it doesn’t hurt that Halloween fell this month. Our holiday programs, like our free feature films, are always a great draw.

Meanwhile, staff members have continued to reconstruct the library settings, and to continue to find and report items of concern relating to Ike. Mont Belvieu carried off the high circulation and high traffic counts this month, but given the circumstances, the gap isn’t too embarrassing for the other two branches. We are investigating replacement for flooring at Winnie and Technical Services; we await replacement of ceiling tiles at Anahuac; and we greatly appreciate the new roofs over our heads at those two sites.

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