2015 Year End Review

Every year, I like to review what’s been accomplished – it provides perspective and helps me remember just how much we get done in a year.  For 2015, I’ve been keeping track throughout the year and this is the wrap up.  So my next exercise needs to be 2016 goals!

  • craneHVAC Replacement – Done as of December 21 with the Keystone Grant.   We need to install a programmable thermostat in the workroom and fix two small leaks in the roof.  The Township has agreed to upgrade the HVAC for the Community Room in spring 2016, so we will have AC this summer!
  • Lease – Done in April.  Facilitated by a successful cooperative effort with the Friends to pass a Memorandum of Understanding and accompanied by a letter requesting continued use of the Book Room by the Friends.  We took over the Community Room (adding to the Library’s square footage) in January 2016. The Board also approved a new photo policy in March.
  • henna three handsTeen Programs – 43 programs in 2015 v. 14 in 2014. Attendance in 2015 was 432 v. 126 in 2014. Jessica was awarded a Teen Reading Lounge grant ($2,000 in total, with extension) that brought in a great group and they did some cool things, like henna tattoos and a tie-dye party. Goal for 2016: Teen Advisory Group.  We have two HS Student liaisons on the Board who have helped generate interest in Library programs.
  • ESL – After an initial attempt, I decided that the literacy programs at Abington Library are so close that this was an unnecessary duplication of effort. The foreign fiction free lending library is popular and the Friends pull foreign books from the donations for us to add.
  • Strategic Plan – Done and in use as of February 2016. I’m very proud of the work the Board and my staff have done in creating this document.  I think it gives us a good, positive framework for future growth.
  • IMG_4194Fundraising – The Annual Appeal for 2014 bled into 2015, but did well and started the new Endowment with $11,500. We budgeted $22,250 and brought in $22,437 in 2015.  The Olive Lucy olive oil tasting during Summer Reading went well and Pam organized a Bertucci’s “Dining for Dollars” event in November that we would like to repeat in 2016.  The 2015 Annual Appeal went out in November. We also add more programs, like the weekly Library Yoga, that require a small fee to cover costs.
  • Library Card Sign-up Month – Pam took the lead on this and cultivated 5 new partners, including the Lower Moreland Business Association.  I am thrilled that we attended every Back to School Night – we have strengthened our relationships with the District, the Township, Bryn Athyn (via the Friends and our Liaison), and Fire Company (participated in Summer Reading).
  • Sunday Hours – A go for 2016, with support from the Township.  We hired three new Library Assistants (one vacancy and 2 new positions) and started Sunday Hours on Jan. 31.
  • biographies movedCollection Development – We rely on standing orders for new fiction and enhance the collection with input from customers and staff.  Circulation continues to rise and I look at turn statistics to see how our methodology is working.   Weeding was a hit – I completed a first pass of adult non-fiction.  With help from 5 CAPS student volunteers, we moved the Biography section to the beginning of NF, across from Mysteries and then shifted NF creating taller shelves to accommodate art and architecture books.  They also shifted the entire Fiction collection and interfiled the mass market paperbacks into the collection, plus we moved the Vacation Reads (trade paperbacks) closer to Tetjana for off-season access. The CAPS students also made a fun video Tour of the Library: http://tinyurl.com/njyzvoa
  • Quarterly HAT Meetings with staff – For 2016, I have a weekly standing meeting with Pam and we’ve already had two staff meetings (the first a full-day staff in-service).  Department Head meetings are going to be crucial, especially as we begin to implement the Strategic Plan.
  • Update Personnel and Collection Development Policies – In progress, along with a new Meeting Room policy, lease and Vending machine contract.
  • Programming – Jane and Pam are helping with 2016 programs. Jane’s focus is seniors, Pam started a Coloring Book Club in 2016, and I have booked at least one ‘big name’ program for February, March, April and May.
    gllynnis pennypackHighlights from 2015:

    • Samuel D. Burris Speaks (Humanities Council Speaker) in February
    • Friends program with Babbie Posey – Women Can Fly Too – in March had 78 people come out for a 2 pm program
    • ABCs of Estate Planning, Walking Tour of Pennypack trail, and Sonnet Appreciation workshops with Lynn Levin in April
    • Lisa Scottoline in May and Local Gems: Pennypack Trail talk with the Township, County and Larry Eastwood (local railroad historian) were both hits.  Debbie helped us organize a mini comic-con on May 2, before she left us for full-time work.
    • paintingHighlight of Adult Summer Reading was Kathleen’s “Escape Artist” paint-along program.
    • Glynnis and Diane put on an amazing Summer Reading Program – another record-breaker.  Diane organized “Science of Superheroes” workshops, Glynnis incorporated crafternoons and we had a blow-out party in the back yard for the wrap up.  Diane left us at the end of the summer and Jess was hired as the new Youth Services Associate.
    • Again, we attended EVERY Back to School Night in September (split between Pam, Glynnis, Mariel and me). We also had Rachel Brandt and Joan Fesmire Doan help us with a Historical Walking Tour on September 12.
    • We had Linda Kenyon as Julia Child in October and a docent from the Craft Show present with a special appearance by local designer Annina King.
    • Glynnis and Jessica filled the library for Star Wars Day, featuring characters from the 501st Legion. We ‘sold’ all 150 free tickets.
    • Staff BrunchDecember’s big program was the 25th Annual Young Authors Gala.  The Friends also threw us a great staff appreciation brunch
  • Digitization Project – We scanned some old postcards from Mrs. Fesmire Doan and I hope to get them on a ‘Local History’ page of the new Web site.  The flatbed ‘scanning station’ is used more than I expected and I’m not ready to give up on this dream.
  • Staff Tech Competencies – In January 2016 we had Penny Talbert from Ephrata come and speak about her library’s competencies program at our staff in service day.  Pam set up a staff wiki.
  • Finch Program – Asked for and received support from the Friends to set up the new Friends Learning Lab (as it was re-named by the Board in May) with a ceiling mounted projector, surround sound, black-out window screen and electronic projection screen oriented at the back of the room.  We re-painted, hiding the old ‘painted on’ screens and are looking for new carpet. The Friends have also agreed to purchase 10 laptops and 10 iPads, plus a charging station and Shawna added dedicated wifi to the room and will be pulling cables, as well, for wall-sockets. Maybe next year for robotics…
  • EITC Grant – In progress.
  • smartline lite wp themeNew Web Site – in Early January 2016 the Web site moved to WordPress. Working out kinks.
  • New Calendar and Online Registration Software – We went with EventKeeper and EK Rooms for our online calendar and meeting room management software.
  • MCLINC Strategic Planning Committee – We finished up the plan and I will be Secretary in 2016.
  • Improve Browse-ability of the Collection – still a goal and I included a ‘bookstore model’ goal in the Strategic Plan!
  • Taste of Culture Fall Event did not materialize, however the School District’s Diversity Committee is planning some fun things we may be able to support in 2016.
  • Trustee Academy – We watched about half of the Trustee Academy webinars at Board meetings and several Trustees watch the remainder on their won. The Board worked very well together on the new Strategic Plan and we have the goal to organize a retreat in 2016.
  • New Paint – The Township helped us out with additional painting and repairs to the stairwell windows, lower level foyer and hallway.  After repairs are made to the lower entrance (leak), they’ll finish the final repairs up here.  It’s bright, clean and already scuffed…but that just means we’re busy and bustling.  With last year’s new stucco, there are some very visible improvements to the building.
  • ElowynOther highlights: Elowyn born Jan. 13, Volunteer Appreciation Tea Pam organized April 24, Glynnis started a new Book Worm book club for 1st-2nd graders, we had multiple crafternoons involving all staff, Jane’s Friday Movies (most successful series of programs aside from Summer Reading), we launched the 2015 Annual Appeal in November,  and I met regularly with the Township Manager throughout the year.
  • Continuing Education: workshop “Promoting Your Library in the Digital Age” at Doylestown with Ben Bizzle, all staff completed the Extreme Customer Service, Every Time online course for a special evening STaff meeting Oct. 9, Kansas Library Association conference, “A Strong Foundation: Library Master Planning” webinar, and Communication and Relationship Building for Leaders workshop

 

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