Thursday, August 06, 2015

Chambers County Library System - July report

Summer Reading at a Glance:

Minutes read: 336,936
Children’s enrollment – up 8%
Teen enrollment – up 9%
Children’s program attendance - up 51%

New patron enrollment – up 7% from 2014    
Total circulation June/July – 65,697
7,381 people attended programs at the Chambers County Library System in June and July

Summer Reading came and went with a blur.  I guess that’s what happens when you’re having fun!  Seems like we were just gearing up for Kickoff week, now we’re sending over 150 thank you letters to everyone who supported our program this year.  The week of July 20th ended the 6-week program with Superhero programs for the little ones, arts & crafts, dodgeball, dances, and video games for the teens, and cooking, CPR, and Zumba classes for the adults.  We pride ourselves on providing great programs for the public, and the public responded beyond our expectations with their attendance.  This year our overall attendance jumped over 50%.  That’s definitely something to be proud of! 

To go along with our superhero theme, we decided to include those heroes without capes and adopt a troop through Project Frontlines.  The 3rd Battalion 29th Field Artillery Regiment was assigned to the library.  We had a huge response and collected over 500 items from patrons at all 3 libraries.  Monetary donations from the American Legion Hall, Post #104 in Anahuac helped greatly with shipping costs, and purchasing other small items of need.  Items shipped out this week, and should be delivered within a month.  

A big thank you to our sponsors who donated their time, talent, money, and coupons for our annual Summer Reading Program.  The response has been overwhelming from local businesses and groups who provide us with incentives and prizes for our patrons.  Also, to our Friends of the Chambers County Library System group for underwriting the program, and to our corporate sponsor, NRG, LLC for granting us funds to provide some of our bigger programs for the kids.  The smiles on kids’ faces and hundreds of “Thank you’s” from the public made all the work and effort worth it. 

We start planning for our summer program each October, so I can’t say enough about the staff and their creativity when it comes to programs and decorations.  We had several people in line asking for the cute Superhero decorations for their classrooms or churches.  I love to brag on the talented group I have!  They go above and beyond and it doesn’t go unnoticed.  We were also given extra help this summer thanks to the County Commissioners.  Eight high school and college workers were employed to help with our busy summer.  These kids were worth their weight in gold providing us with much needed extra hands. 

In July, we welcomed our newest staff member, Pepper Trove to the Juanita Hargraves Memorial Branch in Winnie.  Pepper will provide Winnie with much needed front desk help when the current part-timers are out of pocket. 

County Librarian Valerie Jensen and Assistant County Librarian Annie Vass took a trip to Groves Public Library and Hughes Library in Nederland.  Having close ties to several library directors in our area, this allowed me to introduce Annie and have her see their buildings, hear their successes, and get some insight in how Chambers County compares to our neighbors.  It’s great to keep in contact with our neighboring libraries! 

Ongoing construction continues for the Sam and Carmena Goss Memorial Branch in Mont Belvieu.  The foundation is set, steel beams are on order, and the parking lot is about to take shape.  Things are moving, and the next several months will be even busier with packing up our existing library and making the move down the road.  Programs at Mont Belvieu will be fewer than normal to allow us to do the prep work we need as we transition into the new building. 

The Friends are still on their fundraising campaign, and more donations are needed!  Check out the website and see how you can contribute.  You can purchase a brick paver that will line the outside entry, make a general donation, or purchase a Naming Opportunity such as iPads and landscaping features.  Every little bit counts! 

Finally, the library received a $1500 grant from the Texas Book Festival for new Young Adult books at the Juanita Hargraves Memorial Branch in Winnie.  This competitive grant is awarded each year and announced at the annual Texas Library Association conference.  The teens at Winnie were excited to see some new popular titles on the shelves.

Until next month!

Donna Boullion, Adult Summer Reading raffle winner at Anahuac

Kids at the West Chambers Branch enjoying the end of summer party

Kids showing their appreciation to our 2015 sponsors and adopted troop

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