|Casper Journal Articles
From the Natrona County Public Library
Grade Report: How Your Library Helps the Community
By Kate Mutch, Public Services Librarian
July 8, 2009
Do you remember nervously waiting for your report card at the end of the school year? Maybe you were excited to show off the good grade you achieved in a tough class, or were wishing you could go back and do a test over. Whatever letters (or numbers) you achieved, the grades helped teachers, parents and students know what worked well, and where to place more focus for the next year.
Like any other person or organization, it is good for your library to take a look at our own “grades,” as the numbers come in at the end of our fiscal year. Looking closely at which parts of the library are busiest and which services are most widely used gives us the opportunity to continually improve service to community members.
For example, library staff already knew just by looking at our parking lot and checkout lines that we have been busier than ever this year. Now we know that over 368,800 patrons visited NCPL during the past 12 months, up 7% over last year. Likewise, 630,889 items were checked out, up 5% over last year and an amazing 93% over 2001.
Looking closer, the majority of the increase in items checked out was in the adult fiction section, including novels, mysteries, science fiction and westerns. We are happy to see more adults using the library and spending time reading. This may also be a signal of adults choosing to save money by using the library collection in lieu of other entertainment.
Here are a few more ways your library has helped our community this year:
Fostering childhood literacy and supporting the work of the schools is an important part of the library’s job. This year, the Children’s department reached over 14,600 students with book talks, storytimes and library information during 546 programs for NCSD#1 classes. An additional 222 storytimes for preschoolers were conducted at the library reaching 5,855 children.
NCPL added 24,055 new items this year for a total collection of 182,900 books, movies, magazines and audio books. Yet, this is only 2.5 items per person living in the county, significantly less than the average of 5.25 for Wyoming Libraries.
Technology has continued to be an important service provided to our community: The library’s computers were used for over 47,500 hours during 74,700 separate sessions. Additionally, librarians provided 61 computer classes, helping many adults with limited or no computer experience.
Over 2,400 people attended 180 adult programs which included visits by local authors, book discussions, family game nights and film series. One important program offered this year was a “Smart Investing” series which coincided with national economic concerns. Due to popularity and an ongoing need for financial information, NCPL will offer additional sessions on Avoiding Investment Fraud, Estate Planning, Debt Free Living and a series on stocks, bonds and mutual funds this fall.
There are many reasons for your library’s increasing usage and relevance to citizens, and we are happy to see that staff efforts continue to add value to our community. As we evaluate our progress, we also welcome the input of citizens. Please fill out a comment card in the library, stop by and talk to a staff member, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you.
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