Monday, September 29, 2008

RE: Annual Report Fiscal Year 2008 (July 1, 2007/June 30, 2008)

Farmington Libraries
Since 1901

August, 2008

RE: Annual Report Fiscal Year 2008 (July 1, 2007/June 30, 2008)

Dear Resident: Farmington’s 2008 fiscal year was phenomenal with overall performance up by 8.5% or 61,644 transitions. As a learning-centered organization devoted to appreciative inquiry, we focused on increasing the social, economic, and educational opportunities the Libraries deliver. A need for increasing program variety and diversifying demographic appeal was discovered through identifying new changes in technology, society, and economics. We subsequently developed a program reflecting the structural elements Farmington people need or desire to better understand or appreciate life. These elements are incorporated into our program. i.e., we now have departmental Blogs to disseminate programming and events and have developed a curriculum for FY-09 to teach software applications through Computer U, one of Farmington libraries newest service elements. As a result of these and many other foci, we have increased participation and added value in each service area where the 2007-08 total Service unit count increased by 8.5% or, 61,644 transations , when compared to the 2006-07 fiscal year.

Furthermore, we have worked toward modernizing the Barney Branch library through a one million dollar State Grant, A one Million dollar fund raising campaign, and have secured a one million dollar ballot question from the Town Council for Farmington voters to decide by referendum on November 4, 2008. The project is anticipated to bring the building up to code and architectural correctness in the following areas:

· An elevator to provide access to all three floors
· New computers for classes and research
· Climate control and fire safety updates
· Aesthetic improvements to restore historical accuracy

I am excited and enthusiastic to report these impressive and important data and accomplishments for your understanding. I am very proud of the good work your libraries do and the dedicated professional staff who all together make it happen. I suggest you view the departmental Blogs @ to further understand the magnitude of our program. The following provides a small picture of the programs and events which summarize the year departmentally:

Adult Services

1. Leveraged the New DVD collection by decreasing the loan period and collection to accommodate demand.
2. Winter Films and Afternoon Bijou are just two of the numerous
programs that have been instituted . Author programs have also dramatically increased
3. Physical Layout of computers and reading areas has been improved.
4. Successful partnering with Metro Bistro restaurant for expanded yearlong Chefs and Books program.
5. Started Adopt-a-Shelf program/club for shelf reading volunteers; volunteer hours in department have increased to new record.

Teen Services
Here are 5 interesting/important facts about the Teen Department in the last year:

1. We fused technology and literature in our "Teen Video Booktalks" to increase circulation and provide current book recommendations to other teens. These "Teen Video Booktalks" won Honorable Mention at the CLA Publicity Awards 2008.
2. We partnered with local schools and the Farmington FOCUS Prevention Counsel to provide FHS senior girls with advice about college. Hillary Bennett, 2007's Trinity College Violence Prevention Coordinator was our guest lecturer and discussed tips to stay safe on a college campus. She also covered personal safety issues, alcohol and drug use and sexual assault prevention. A panel of recent FHS grads was also present for a question and answer session.
3. We have partnered with the Farmington Historical Society and the Farmington Oral History Project to provide FHS students with the opportunity to experience local history through members of our community. Teens from FHS and the Farmington Alternative School are currently learning the interview process and will begin to conduct interviews with local community members by the end of October. These interviews will be recorded and then archived to preserved our local history.
4. We provided 154 Teens with volunteer experiences this summer with our Summer Reading Club. These teens were given the opportunity to volunteer and help librarians conduct programs, mend library items and keep the library clean. All of the Teens that participated in the program were awarded a certificate of accomplishment for their hard work.
5. We have increased the circulation of all Teen Department materials as well as Teen participation in programs and events at the library in the past year.

Children’s Services

1. Summer Reading Program – Get A Clue 2007 broke all records: 1,099 school-age children participated & recorded 24,653 books on their school reading log, an 22% increase in participation over last year’s program.

2, Third-grade visits in June - All third grade students in Farmington visited the library and received library cards. These highly applauded visits were appreciated by children, teachers and families. Mrs. Mary Beth Peterson, whose son Andrew was in 3rd grade at West District School, raved about her son’s excited reaction to his behind-the scenes visit to the library. She hadn’t expected him to be so impressed, since they are regular library visitors. He was thrilled that he got to put a bar code on a book and had a sneak peek at the Teen Area. She hopes that the library visits will be continuing so that her daughter, Catherine, who is in third grade this year, will be able to come.

3. Continuing outreach to many groups. New this year, visits by Farmington High School’s health classes – Seven classes visited and learned about the composition of children’s books in preparation for an innovative project of writing their own picture book, illustrating a health theme & aimed at an elementary audience

Lending Services

1. Lending up to 439,061 circulations which highest ever that is 10% over 2006/2007
2. 262,552 visits; up 5% over 2006-2007
3. The introduction of Self Checkout
4. Continued successful bus trips
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute
Greenwich Village Bookstore Tour
Boston Museum of Fine Art- El Greco exhibit
5. Chinese language collection added
6. Forgiving Tree --One ton of food collected for needy people
7. Virtual Museum pass registration initiated

Branch Services

1. Established Village Vibrations summer series of musical concerts on the front lawn of The Barney Library
2. Offered Conversational English Classes to individuals from other countries wishing to have an opportunity to practice English
3. Doubled our homebound library service to citizens who are unable to come to the library.
4. Increased use of The Barney library’s Hoppin Gallery through multiple bookings of artists, scouts, clubs, and reading groups
5. Expanded one-on-one computer training for adults

Unionville days 2008 was a great experience for all.

Unionville days 2008 was a great success and experience for all who participated or attended. I especially wish to Thank FVGLA president Ed Preneta and his wife Barbara for their help with the Barney Project communications. I also would like to acknowledge Paula Montes for her children’s programming and Steve McMahon for his overall assistance. The Friends of the Library were on duty at their booth with Nancy Nickerson, Paula Ray and Gloria Dinkins. Special thanks are also due for Tery Matava who displayed a Barney Tag sale poster on her Tractor for the October 4th event at the Barney Branch Library.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Who said it isn’t cool to be in the library after school?

Who said it isn’t cool to be in the library after school?

Farmington Libraries Aquarium Dedication September 25th at the Aquarium in the Children's department

It was just great to see the curiosity and involvement our salt water aquarium evoked during the September 25 dedication program. Our Angel, Mary-Kay Newell, attended as did Rochambeau Essay contest winner Erin Kelly. Complementary Refreshments by Apricots were delicious and a good time was had by all.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Lobster Fest was a great success in more ways than One!

Robert Putnam extols the importance of community involvement through volunteerism and community in his book “Bowling Alone”. Putnam could use the Farmington Rotary’s “Lobster on Main Street" event as a spark of hope and example for the revival of that important social fabric he believes has passed by in today’s society.

The Event was held on Saturday September 13 on the Barney Library and First Church lawn and engaged over 200 revelers. I wish to congratulate the Rotary Club and those members and friends who worked to make this event such a great success by serving 168 lobsters, 38 steaks, 22 Hot Dogs (Kids' Meals) to a well connected group from all over Town. Special thanks to: Rotarians Peter Antigiovanni, Jean Atwater-Williams, Ednalou Ballard, Norm Ballard, Dave Barrett, Bill Beckert, Jr., Ron Bernard, Dave Chalker, Frank Chase,Mike Cheshire, Mike Clark, Ben Davol, Jason Jastrzebski, Doug Kartsen,Ken Kaufman, Carole King, Joe Kintschi, Brad Lutz, Bill Mastrogiovanni, Jr.,
John Pecora, Kevin Ray, Howard Rosenfield, Augusto Russell, Matt Vendetti.
and Stephen Wasley. Special thanks to Karen Wasley and Paula Ray.