Do you know what the numbers say about your library?

PREVIEW Columnist, and the Library Staff

Grants from foundations and corporations are a major source of operating funds for the Sisson Library. These organizations require lots of figures to prove that any library requesting donated funds is well managed and also an integral and valued part of its community. Here are some the numbers that we provide grant donors and thought you’d find interesting — a look behind the scenes at what makes your library run.

• During 2012, we continued our practice of weeding the library’s collection. As a result, the total number of items dropped 1.8 percent to 30,844. At the same time, though, we added 4,987 new items — up 11.8 percent from last year, as we strive for quality over quantity because of limited space.

• 82,438 patrons visited the library last year, down five percent from the year before. This may be because so many patrons are using our online resources instead of coming to the library.

• 91,239 materials (books, magazines, CDs, audio tapes, DVDs and videos) were checked out last year, up 4.3 percent over 2011.

• Attendance is up for our special programs for children (up 14.2 percent), which is great news. Unfortunately, attendance is down some for adults and more for teens. We are especially concerned about the teen numbers. This is a really hard group to reach. If you have any programming ideas, please contact Jackie Welch, the library director, who would be grateful for your input.

• Number of cards issued jumped 9.4 percent to 9,808 in 2012. We are excited by this good news.

• Website visits were up 18.3 percent to 24,935 last year. Again, a nice increase.

• Use of the two interlibrary loan systems continues to grow dramatically, up 66.2 percent to 5,133 items in 2012, primarily a result of membership in AspenCat. Our books loaned to other libraries are up 57.6 percent to 1,526 in 2012.

Science fun for kids

Tomorrow (Friday, March 1) from 2–3:15 p.m. is Science Fun, a free science and technology club for curious kids in fourth through sixth grades. Registration is required.

Crafts how-to

“Creating Decorative Paper” by Paula Guhin explains how to transform ordinary paper into scrapbooks, cards, memory boxes, gift wrap, invitations and more. “Custom Crocheted Sweaters” by Dora Ohrenstein shows you how to adapt patterns to fit your body beautifully.

“Stash Happy Applique” by Cynthia Shaffer provides 25 projects to help you use fabric and felt leftovers creatively.

Other nonfiction

“She Matters: A Life in Friendships” by Susanna Sonnenberg illuminates the friendships with women that have influenced, nourished and haunted the author. “The Universe Within” by science writer Neil Shubin explores the common history of rockets, planets and people. “Remembering Whitney” by her mother, Cissy Houston, is a biography of the singing legend. “The Future” by former Vice President Al Gore identifies six critical drivers of global change. “The Things They Cannot Say” by Kevin Sites chronicles stories from 11 soldiers and marines who tell what they’ve seen, done or failed to do in war. “In a Queer Voice” reports on a study over more than a decade in the lives of gay and lesbian youth in urban and rural communities.

Large print

“Moonlight Masquerade” is a suspense romance by Jude Deveraux. “Deadly Stakes” is a mystery by J.A. Jance. “The Night Ranger” by Alex Berenson is about a kidnapping in East Africa. “Touch and Go” is a suspense story by Lisa Gardner. “Invisible Murder” by Lene Kaaberbol and Agnete Friss is a mystery about Hungarian gypsies. “Red Fire” is a trio of western stories by Max Brand. “After Tex” by Sherryl Woods is the latest in the Whispering Wind romance series. “What the Cat Saw” by Carolyn Hart is a mystery. “The Chocolate Moose Motive” by JoAnna Carl is a mystery in the Chocoholic series. “Archie Meets Nero Wolfe” by Robert Goldborough is the prequel Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe mystery series.

Mysteries and thrillers

“Suspect” by Robert Crais is a crime novel about an LAPD cop and his German shepherd, both suffering from PTSD. “Ratlines” by Stuart Neville is a crime story about Nazis killed in Dublin in 1963.

Books on CD

“Enemy of Mine” by Brad Taylor is the third thriller in the series featuring terrorist task force head Pike Logan. “Political Suicide” by Michael Palmer is a thriller set in Washington, D.C. “The Fifth Assassin” by Brad Meltzer tells of an assassin recreating the murders of U.S. presidents. “The Third Bullet” by Stephen Hunter explores the assassination of President Kennedy. “Shadow Woman” by Linda Howard follows a woman who had lost two years of her life. “Private Berlin” by James Patterson and Mark Sullivan is the latest in the thriller series featuring the Private PI agency. “Empire and Honor” by W.E.B. Griffin and William E. Butterworth IV is an espionage saga about a U.S. deal to sent German intelligence agents to Argentina after W II. “Suspect” by Robert Crais is a crime novel about an LAPD cop and his German shepherd, both suffering from PTSD.

Thanks to our donors

For their generous donations, we thank Virginia Jane Cook for her gift in memory of Jerry Buckley and Sue Ellen Haning, who donated the proceeds from her book signing of “Two Nuts in Italy.” For books and materials this week, we thank Medora Bass, Jim Murtino and Jim Smith.

Quotable quote

“If your mind is empty, it is open to everything. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind there are few.” — Shunryu Suzuki (1904-1971), Soto Zen monk and teacher who helped popularize Zen Buddhism in the U.S.


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This story was posted on February 28, 2013.