RE: Annual Report Fiscal Year 2008-2009 (July 1, 2008/June 30, 2009)
To the Farmington Community:
I am pleased to present to the citizens of Farmington our 2009 Annual Report. While many new challenges emerged during this fiscal year, we weathered difficult times with resilience and the belief in an exciting promise for the future. The positive effect of our program is reflected in the year-end performance metrics up by 8.2%, or by 63,612 transactions, almost two times our population, for the third year in succession.
Within a turbulent and unpredictable economy, we have succeeded in developing the resources necessary to go forward with the Barney Branch Library renovations project. This important and defining moment for Farmington was made possible through a one million dollar State grant, the passage of a one million dollar Town-Wide Referendum, and a successful fundraising campaign all together delivering the green light on this needed and necessary project.
In closing, let me thank first and foremost our citizens for giving Farmington Libraries the best community possible to develop one of the top library programs in the state. Leading your Libraries is a privilege and responsibility to which I give the highest priority. I also would like to thank our Board of Directors for their steady hand and insightful vision and I wish to thank all my Library co-workers and colleagues in Town Government, especially Manager Eagen, and Director Swetsky for their assistance in the many technical matters that required consultation over the year. I hope you visit our departmental blogs @ http://www.farmingtonlibct.org/blogs.htm to further understand the richness of the programming provided to you daily. The following provides a small picture of the programs and events which summarize the year departmentally:
There were two highly successful initiatives in the Children’s Room this year: 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten and the arrangement of a sizeable part of the picture book collection into theme centers. And again the annual summer reading program broke all previous records.
1. 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten: This new program encourages parents to read to their very young children, based on research showing that the number of books children have been read and the amount of language they are exposed to directly correlates with their later success in school.
This initiative was modeled on our highly successful school-age summer reading program, and uses reading logs to record the number of books read and offers incentives to encourage participation and completion of the activity. As of June 30 the program had been running only a few months and 164 children registered and recorded 21,300 books in their logs.
2. Theme Books in the Picture Book Collection: The picture book collection in the Children’s Room is the largest collection of books. Traditionally these books are arranged alphabetically by the author’s last name, but this year a large number of these books were arranged in theme centers, based on the most popular areas of interest of preschool children. Some themes included are: Bedtime Stories, Things That Go (trucks, trains and planes), Dinosaurs, Teddy Bears, Starting School, Toilet Training, Princess Stories, and Concepts, which includes colors, shapes, opposites and telling time.
Parents are very enthusiastic about this arrangement and there is an appreciable savings in staff time, since families wanting books about one of these very popular subjects are led to one area, rather than to eight or ten different shelves in the larger collection. Also, books are re-shelved in one area, rather than interfiled into the main collection, which results in a more efficient process.
3. Summer Reading Program: Catch the Reading Bug @ Your Library, the 2008 summer reading program, again broke all records: 1,198 school-age children from kindergarten to sixth grade participated & recorded 27,594 books on their school reading log. This was a 9 % increase in participation over last year’s program.
1. We launched the Farmington Library Teen Review blog, a peer-to-peer reader's advisory tool currently featuring over seventy book reviews, with more to be added each month.
2. 71 teens participated in Teen Summer Reading through volunteer service, program attendance, and review-writing. Volunteers in the adult and children's department were down in number, but were employed more effectively -- given more meaningful tasks and more effective supervision -- than in the past.
3. We expanded the partnership with the schools and Farmington FOCUS to offer campus safety programs for graduating girls and boys.
4. Teen book circulation continued to rise, with statistics for July 2009 showing a 9% increase over July 2008, thanks to the recent interfiling of teen paperbacks with teen hardcover fiction and to the increased visibility of new and popular teen materials.
5. Usage of the Nintendo Wii gaming system in the teen area increased with the addition of a dedicated non-circulating collection of games.
1. Adult Collections were enhanced with the establishment of New Business Center in cooperation with a Farmington Chamber of Commerce grant.
2. New interior landscaping including the relocation of, home repair and home decorating materials which were placed in the new "Home Center".
3. Multiyear Adult Fiction de-accessioning program completed.
4. Logistics for the Barney collection 2nd floor relocation completed.
5. Programming enhancements for "Computer U" computer program app classes in fall 2008.
6. Established a new "Mental Health" library-sponsored book group in conjunction with N.A.M.I, a mental health advocacy group.
7. Two major web site upgrades implemented in-house by Information Staff.
8. Reference inquiries doubled through enhanced statistical methods and service volume increases.
1. Lending increased 7% over 07-08 (471,208 circulations)
280,481 visits 7% increase over 07-08
2. Increase in use of self check out— over 27,440 items checked out by patrons
Very successful bus trips
New York Botanical Garden
Van Gogh by Night exhibit at MOMA
3. Foreign language collection –Spanish discontinued –Chinese collection expanded
4. Museum pass virtual registration fine tuned and pass loan period changed to overnight to accommodate more patrons.
5. System holds implemented; subsequent increase in C-car delivery and processing
6. Personnel Manual and Policy Manual updated, passed by Board-staff meetings/training
held to ensure staff was able to handle emergency situations
7. Main library periodical subscriptions moved from Ebsco to WT Cox in cost saving move
8. Business Center collection purchased and made available to public
9. Barney teen collection moved to Main Library
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