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Library News

By: Virginia Volkman & Sheila Hoffmeyer
For: Red Rock News
Date: July 3, 2009

Your Sedona Public Library Reports – Part I

The Sedona Public Library fiscal year begins June 1. Our next two Library News columns will present our annual report for the fiscal year.

Your Library has experienced a year of remarkable growth in many areas. We have delivered services in new ways that have been well received by our patrons. We have strengthened our staff structure and are better positioned to meet the challenges of the coming year.

Part l of this report examines the annual statistics on our typical measures presented monthly at the Board meetings and progress on our Strategic Plan. Part II will cover the status of our main resources – our facilities, successes and challenges of the past year, and finally, expectations for the coming year.

Statistical Measures Show Increased Library Usage

Circulation, the number of items checked out by our users, has increased by 13% (up from 231,454 to 260,390). In October, we began to count the number of items used “in-house” as part of the circulation count. Books left on tables are scanned to give an in-house use count. This number is approximately 12,000 for eight months.

We continue to be an active participant in the Yavapai County Network’s Intra-library loan system. We loaned more than 41,000 items to other libraries (up 15%) and borrowed almost 19,000 items for Sedona patrons (up 8%). The number of items loaned to libraries and borrowed for our patrons through Inter-library loan (outside the county) decreased slightly.

The number of people coming in our doors is up 5% from last year, with nearly 202,000 people counted. The Library continues to serve as a source of both reading materials and programs, and as a community center. Programs are another key measure of the Library activities. Our program offerings are up 19% and attendance is up 22% from the previous year.

New library cards issued shows a 24% increase from last year. The actual numbers indicate 330 more cards issued this year than last.

The number of Web site connections to MY ACCOUNT (almost 63,000) and the number of items reserved via that tool (more than 39,000) have each increased by 19%. Patrons are accessing the online catalog from home and taking advantage of the ability to check their accounts and reserve items in this convenient way.

Though the overall number of sessions for our Internet access computers has declined, sessions for the 60-minute computers remained the same (approximately 30,000 sessions each year). This is most likely a result of a change which took effect April 2008 which limits each patron to two sessions per day and requires patrons to sign in with their library cards or guest cards, rather than a random name. With more people now able to have access to the 60-minute computers, demand for the 15-minute computers has decreased and there is rarely a line of people waiting to use the computers. About 75% of the sessions were for SPL cards and the other sessions were visitor cards.

Figures for SPL in the Village show significant increases. Circulation is up 32%, with 97% of the material arriving via holds placed by patrons for pickup there. Foot traffic in the site is up 24% and the number of cards issued is up 36% (from 51 to 80). The number of programs offered in the Village has increased from 2 to 17, with program attendance increasing from 57 to 541.

Strategic Planning Highlights

Solid progress has been made on the following strategic planning initiatives:

  1. Strategic Initiative #3: Ensure that the Library reaches out to the Spanish-speaking community. With the addition of Marcela Saldivia-Berglund as the Latino Services Librarian, our services and programs for the Latino community have continued to improve. The Latino collection has been reorganized and a Charla or talk series to bridge the cultural gap between Anglos and Latinos has begun.
  2. Strategic Initiative #2: Ensure that the Library provides the community with up-to-date technology resources and delivery systems. The Library has upgraded all patron computer stations and installed new learning systems in the Children’s library. The network security and bandwidth has been expanded and wireless connectivity has improved.
  3. Strategic Initiative #4: Provide learning support services and programs for youth. The Youth Services Department continues to offer creative learning opportunities for youths of all ages. We offer “Sing, Say & Sign” for young children and Gaming Days/Teen Overnight to appeal to ages 12-18. We have a Teen Council and teen volunteers. SPL was one of the first libraries to take advantage of the opportunity to register children and students for the Summer Reading Program online.
  4. Strategic Initiative #6. Staff and volunteers will have a positive work environment. The Magazine Room was remodeled to provide back-of-the-Library desk space for six staff members. The Staff Room was remodeled with three work stations. The staff kitchen and lounge also were remodeled. A gift from the Barstow Foundation made repairs and upgrades in the Community Kitchen possible.
  5. Strategic Initiative #7: Library governance will be conducted with efficiency, effectiveness, and fiscal prudence. The Board spent significant time in this area with the recruitment of a new Director. The Treasurer also worked with the new Business Manager on accounting changes. A major accomplishment was the completion of the long-needed parking lot expansion, complete with improved lighting, and flooding controls in the rear parking lot. In the coming year, focus must be directed to completion of the capital needs study with the Design Group and a complete inspection of the building.

Virginia Volkman, Director of Sedona Public Library, and
Sheila Hoffmeyer, President of the Board of Trustees,
co-authored this column at
the Sedona Public Library.

Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News
and is also presented on: Gateway to Sedona and Sedona Biz.