Thursday, July 01, 2010


Same Old Record-Breaking June!

Here it comes again – that same old, year in, year out thing I begin with: Summer Reading has done it again. Our circulation for June is up 1,600 from last year (as it has increased every June for years) and we have added 294 new library card holders this month! The staff must still be running on adrenaline, because they managed to circulate 33,693 items and still have time for 1,801 people to attend programs. The unexpected early storm season did cause a few mishaps and reschedules, but everyone has taken everything in stride, staff and public alike. I just hope the team survives July – we have another full schedule of activities to go before July 17, thanks to the amazing program underwriters who helped us financially and in-kind this year. Party week is July 19, and then the staff gets a short break before cranking up the fall season.

I might also mention that we are fortunate that the County supplies us each year with “summer help” in the form of high school and college-aged students. We have 2 at each library and one in Tech Services this year, and they are kept extremely busy just getting books back on shelves when they come pouring back through the doors. They also are invaluable working with the children who come to the programs, with preparation of craft materials, program room setups, and a variety of housekeeping tasks that we save each year just for our summer elves.

After a 4-year wait, we have authentication software installed at all 3 library sites. The Cassie software sits on all of our public access machines, and patrons no longer have to wait for a staff member to scan their library card for computer access. The software interfaces with our library patron database and provides consistent use for each patron, and cleans up when they leave. It also requires pre-payment prior to printing. This is already showing a savings as patrons are now forced to realize just how many pages they will get if they hit the “okay” button, and the County isn’t losing paper and ink costs on “walkaway” printing. The best part is that library users are insured more privacy when they visit, since we no longer have to maintain paper sign-in records. The staff members are universally ecstatic about the new software, so it seems to be a win-win for all at CCLS.

The Tech Services unit considers Summer Reading time a bit of a breather, since all the prep work is over, and the branch workers are too busy to need us! Our administrative unit utilizes this season of the year to catch up on the cataloging and processing of materials that have been purchased earlier, and this year we’ve been working on inventory as well. An interim edition of the Directory of Elected Officials was released to have on hand till the November elections are over, and a much-needed update of the Chambers County Clubs & Organizations flyer is in the works. And of course, we’ve begun to scratch out ideas for the upcoming budget workshops…

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