Archive for January, 2012

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We grew (in more ways than one)!

January 24, 2012

Dwight Foster Public Library annual circulation: 2000-2011

As we reflect on 2011 here at the Dwight Foster Public Library, we can know one thing for sure:  we grew!  We grew both physically and in terms of usage.   Our successful Foster Growth capital campaign allowed us to renovate and expand our library, adding 12,000 square feet to our existing 21,000.  That growth allowed us to grow in terms of service to our community.  More people than ever not only visited our library to see all that had changed, but they also checked out more items than any other year in the previous ten…by a considerable sum.

A library’s circulation numbers don’t tell the whole story because, by definition, a circulation is simply a count of a physical item that has left the building.   It doesn’t measure how many people read a newspaper, came to use a computer, asked a question, made a photocopy or used a meeting room.   It doesn’t even count e-book circulations.  (That’s a topic for another day.)   However, a library circulation, limited measure that it is, is still a very good way to compare a library to itself over time.   I think the chart above shows a remarkable pattern of steadiness and vitality, particularly in light of our world’s increasingly rapid move from the physical to the digital world.

If you want to ponder another measure, here is a chart depicting the number of library visits based on our people counter (purchased in 2010 and located at the front entry).

Dwight Foster Public Library visits - 2011 compared to 2010

All in all, it was a year of enormous change and significant growth for our library.  If you’d like to read more, you can find the full 2011 annual report here.

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The joy of receiving a handwritten thank you!

January 11, 2012

Handwritten note (with name removed & permission for sharing)

Every once in awhile something simple can touch your heart.  This “thank you” letter received in the mail at our library right around Christmas sure did that for me.

It reminded me why I entered this profession all those years ago and have never lost the burning desire to provide the best possible library services to all who enter.   Plain and simple: libraries rock.  (You can read more about the importance of public libraries here…and there…and everywhere.)

But more than that, it underscored for me my burgeoning belief that  in this world of instant communication, nothing has more power than a handwritten letter delivered by the United States Postal Service.    As our world shifts and reshapes itself, I’d like to think that the future generations won’t forget that.

The final “take away” for me in this letter is that no matter how grand the building or how excellent the search engine, it’s still the staff that counts the most.

Kudos to our staff for their tireless commitment to the goal of helping people use this library.   Our project was several years of disruption and displacement.  Through it all, the staff made it their responsibility to deliver excellent library service…one person at a time.

As you can see, it’s appreciated.

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Sandhill cranes added to Batterman Children’s Library entry

January 6, 2012

Jorn Mork's cranes (photo courtesy of Cindy Vergenz)

These cranes, created by Jorn Mork,  are part of the youth department entry art in the Dwight Foster Public Library Batterman Children’s Library that was recently commissioned as a part of our expansion and renovation project.  Stop by and see the detail; they are so beautiful! Look for this inscription:  Sandhill cranes flying, dancing, lifetime mates.  (You can’t see it on the photo.  You’ll have to come look in person.)

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