Thursday, August 06, 2009


Not lying with statistics!

I believe it would be justifiable to say that 2009, with all its economic trials, has been an extremely successful year at the Chambers County Library System. Witness our annual summer reading programs: for June and July of 2009, we experienced an increase of nearly 2,000 circulations over June and July of 2008. Total item circulation for the two months: 56,916!

In the middle of all this frantic checking out of books, magazines, DVDs, etc., we were holding bang-up programs for summer reading. Our end of the program parties featured Julian Franklin Productions again this year, thanks to corporate sponsors, and the kids lapped up the antics of Senor Bunny and his Cowboy pal Jeff, as they provided incentives about reading via lost treasures in the Old West. This company provides us with a list of books they cite in their different programs, and we were able to get most of them on the shelves, along with handouts of the titles, so the kids could remember them and pick them up later. They also enjoyed pizza, sodas, and cake, again underwritten by sponsors.

Before that party, of course, came the Waterslide Day events, paid for by corporate Friends of the Library System. The extreme heat of the past month provided a wonderful backdrop for the 22 foot high slide, which got assembled every morning at 6 at each of the libraries (good thing I wake up early anyway)! And the kids loved it, patiently standing in line for their turns, slurping on icy pops, and generally enjoying themselves as they slid and splashed. The staff members worked themselves crazy monitoring the kids, hosing the slide to keep it from getting too dry or too hot, and occasionally taking a ride down themselves. All part of a day’s work.

All in all, our reading clubs for adults, teens, and children were incredible successes this year. The economy may have slowed, keeping folks closer to home, but our donations for our programs were way up, allowing us to provide entertainment above and beyond our past abilities. That, in turn, enticed more adults in to enter our reading/gift card drawings, and our teens and youngsters in with the welcoming atmosphere they have come to expect at our “community centers.” The library system in Chambers County is not just a room full of books; the staff work extremely hard to provide a wide spectrum of rich materials and services from our share of the tax dollar. We may scale down in August a bit, because frankly, we’re a bit winded, but we already have plans in place to crank back up in September. It’s nice to be needed by so many.

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