|Casper Journal Articles
From the Natrona County Public Library
Reaping Rewards through Library Service
By Kate Mutch, Public Services Librarian
July 23, 2008
I recently figured out the value of my own library usage for the past year and discovered it was worth over $5,500! If I had purchased all the books and magazines I read, paid for the workshop I went to and paid for the many articles I accessed through subscription databases, my wallet would be $5,500 lighter.
I did all this with my library card, which cost me nothing.
You, too, can have free access to check out books, magazines, audio books, movies, enjoy classes, family programs and book discussions. Thousands of Natrona County citizens are already taking advantage of this wealth of materials and services.
My reading was responsible for only a small part of over 604,000 items checked out by patrons during the fiscal year that ended June 30. Approximately 107,000 of the items checked out were adult fiction books. If each person who read those books had to purchase them individually, it would have cost our citizens over two million dollars.
The impact of the library on Natrona County youth has been significant as well. Children’s books have checked out over 184,000 times. (a benefit of over 3.8 million dollars). Children’s librarians conducted 224 storytimes with over 5,700 parents and children attending. These children are learning skills that prepare them for success in school.
During the 2007 - 2008 school year, Children’s librarians were in the schools 535 times providing book talks, storytelling, puppet shows and other literacy based programs. These programs encourage children to read and to use their library for educational and recreational reasons.
The annual Summer Reading Program impacts over 2,300 youth and over 500 teens. Kids who don’t read during the summer can lose up to three months of learning during the break. Kids who participate in the reading programs return to school without these gaps in their learning and are better equipped for success, not to mention the fun they have exploring new topics!
Teens are using your library to check out books, join book discussion groups, play chess, write poetry, and give back to the community in activities such as making Christmas cards for soldiers or nursing home residents.
Learning is not limited to kids at NCPL, where our goal is to foster life-long learning for all ages. This year, over 400 adults attended at least one computer class taught at your library. Topics ranged from using a mouse to accessing the library’s subscription resources to learning about Microsoft® Word, PowerPoint or Excel.
Free informational programs for adults included Home Buying Basics, Credit Repair workshops, Start Your Own Business workshops, Residential Solar & Wind Power information, and preparing for the digital TV switch in February, 2009.
Looking into the coming fiscal year, your library is excited to continue providing valuable services to the people of Natrona County. We strive to meet the education and recreation needs of all age groups and interests, and welcome suggestions for improvement. It is our hope that every citizen will reap the rewards of this community investment.
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