2014 is almost a memory, and we are facing a new year. Television shows are running year end summaries, and people are pledging to make permanent lifestyle changes on January 1, 2015. This is a time for reflection. How does a library define the past year? As Library Director, I look at statistics, program numbers, and building challenges of 2014.
In 2014, the library circulated 93,038 items. This doesn’t include ebook circulations. That number is pretty impressive! In 2013 items circulated totaled 81,811. The library strives to increase that number every year. In this age of electronic information, the fact that the Drake Library can circulate 93,038 books, magazines, and DVDs is impressive. I could go on a long winded rant about how libraries are still relevant to the world and needed by everyone, but I will save that for another blog post!
This year the Summer Reading Program was a raging hit. Participants read over 2,330 hours, a record number of children finished the program. The theme was “Fizz, Boom, Read!” and was fully supported financially by the Friends of the Drake Public Library.
The library also started monthly movies at the library. Positive feedback has ensured that more movies will be shown in 2015. Watch for posters and publicity. Family oriented movies for everyone to enjoy is the main focus of the movie nights.
The American Girl Doll program is successful. Five dolls are available for check out and several parties were held at the library with the American Girl Dolls being the main focus. In December, Mariah Clawson, 2014 Miss Pancake Day, came to the Christmas Tea Party and posed for pictures with attendees.
The library has a brand new website! The site is fabulous and friendly to use! We are using Social Media (Facebook and Twitter) to get our message out into the world. The library is very grateful to a local donor for funding this website! Our website features news, pictures, and links to various online resources.
The Drake Library was opened in 1903 and is still open 111 years later! The same building now provides internet connectivity via wireless and wired computer labs. The smoking rooms and vinyl record collection are gone and in their place, patrons use computers to search for jobs, read the news, and stay in contact with friends across the world. The steam heat radiators are gone, replaced by seven furnaces and central air units. Keeping a building like the Drake Library open and operational is no easy task. This year was an easy year for maintenance. The new waterproofing system in the basement kept the floors dry and the lower walls mold free. New carpet and paint was a spring upgrade in the Children’s section of the library.
The windows are still/always an ongoing project for the library board. This year a window study was conducted by an architectural firm. The findings from that study are now being investigated and plans made to either preserve or replace the massive library windows on all three floors.
2014 was a positive year for the library! Lots of people are using the library and the programs we provide! The library building received a mini facelift in the basement and the board is still considering window solutions. The library staff looks forward to 2015 and wishes you a Happy New Year!