Inside The Library: Library’s 2017 annual report now available

The Library’s 2017 annual report is now available. The report is a review of all of the numbers – circulation, programming attendance, interlibrary loan activity, volunteer hours contributed and the total new members who joined the library in 2017.

This year program attendance reached new heights. There were 14,942 people who attended a program in one of our branches. For the annual report we broke these numbers down even further. For children in support of early literacy and early learning the library sponsored 102 programs with 1,244 children attending.

Staff put a tremendous amount of planning and effort into making the programs creative and enticing. Everything from jugglers to baby lambs appearing in the library. As well the library hosted 96 class visits, involving 2,768 children. For the summer reading program this year we produced 34 programs with 252 children participating and retaining their reading skills over their holidays.

For slightly older children our Makerspace has proved to be very popular. The Makerspace refers to such things as our 3D printers, Makey Makey and the Code-a-pillar. These items allow children to experiment in the basics of circuitry and computer coding. The library conducted 96 such programs with 916 attendees.

Any library will tell you that teens are the hardest demographic to attract. One teen program that has been running for over 10 years at the library is the Liam Garrett Memorial Teen Art Show. This show attracts young artists every year to display their art in the library. The show is judged by experienced volunteers and prizes are awarded. There is even a people’s choice award selected by popular vote by library patrons.

Our Friday afternoon Rock Jam is another popular program with youth. Led by Mario Panacci teens can drop in and use the library’s instruments from keyboard to drums, and enjoy jamming with this popular and talented volunteer. There were 52 teen programs with 96 attendees in 2017.

For adult patrons of the library there were 478 programs with 603 people attending. The library hosts book clubs, history talks and a wide range of technology programs. We are always keeping our ear to the ground to find topical speakers to bring to the county.

A coup in 2017 was Gwynne Dyer. The well-known journalist and historian spoke to over 150 people in May of last year. This year, in July we are delighted to have David Frum speaking at the Regent Theatre in support of our Picton branch expansion project. Get your tickets at the Regent Theatre web site:

For seniors the library hosted 77 programs with 1,151 attendees. Again it involves a range of topics, everything from chair sit fitness to knitting to reading circles to a brass quartet.

We are very proud of all of our programs – we like to think that we have something for everyone. Our Archives hosted 789 visitors this year, often people traveling to Prince Edward County to conduct their research and fielded 683 requests for information. The Musical Instrument Lending Library continues to grow and in fact is currently in the process of expanding into the Bloomfield branch.

In addition to our programming we conduct our core service – that of lending books. In 2017 we lent 182,254 items – this figure includes our DVDs, books on CD and e-publications. This is a slight increase from 2016. Our interlibrary loan department loaned 6,355 books and borrowed 5796. We have some of the highest numbers in libraries of our size. That we lend more titles than we borrow is an indication of the strength of our collection. Last year 1,134 new members joined the library and volunteers contributed 1,229 hours to assist staff with such things as home deliveries, calling for reserves, gardening and fundraising.

All in all a very satisfactory year for the library! Please pick up a copy of the annual report 2017 at any branch of the library.

If you are interested in being a part of this organization, and feel you have something to contribute, consider putting your name forward for the next library board term. Call me at 613-476-5962 for more details.

-Barbara Sweet