What the stats say about your library

Annually, at this time of year, Meg Wempe, library director, prepares an annual report for the library’s board of trustees summarizing the highlights of the past year. The information also is used when your library applies for grants and it is required to be shared with state, county and town governments to keep them informed.
Here is a summary of that long report on 2018 operations. You can pick up a shorter, full-color infographic version of this report at your library for your own use.
• Major objectives achieved: For the first time ever, your library now has a three-quarter-time development officer responsible for grant writing, fundraising and cultivating relationships for your library.
Another major success was our second in-house book sale offering items that remained after the highly popular Friends of the Library book sale. It raised $427 and drew people who had never before visited the library.
Also, we rearranged library spaces to have all youth materials together to better serve our families, a change which has garnered a lot of positive response.
• Resource sharing: AspenCat allows our patrons access not only to the 29,215 items in our collection, but also more than 1.3 million items in the other 110 AspenCat libraries. The Colorado Library Consortium courier service provides daily delivery to subscribing libraries throughout the state.
In 2018, we borrowed 9,750 items, up 8.3 percent from 2017, and loaned 3,191 items, up 14.6 percent. By taking advantage of the purchasing power of the State Library and Colorado Library Consortium, we subscribed to multiple educational databases including EBSCOHost, Learning Express and the Encyclopedia Britannica at substantial savings, and purchased downloadable audio books, e-books and magazines.
In 2018, our patrons downloaded 5,595 items, up 14.8 percent, and logged 195 sessions on our electronic databases, a decrease 45 percent from 2018. (Interestingly, the usage of our electronic data bases ebbs and flows, and can be affected by the number of school presentations we do about our free online resources.)
• Collection development: Providing our patrons with materials that are current and relevant to the diverse interests of the community is one of our principal goals. We have 29,215 total items in our collection. In 2018, we added 3,443 items, including 455 from donations, and deleted 3,327 worn or outdated items. Our materials budget for 2019 is $57,400, or 11 percent of our total expenses.
• Usage stats: 83,206 patrons walked through our doors last year, a 4.2 percent decrease from 2017. We checked out 93,977 items, a 4.8 decrease from 2017. We have 12,729 library cards issued, 848 of them new in 2017.
• Programming: Providing programs for all ages is a very high priority. From early literacy to adult education and lifelong learning, 4,437 people attended one or more of our 622 programs, 94 more programs in 2018. Some 631 attended one of 64 outreach events. Our programming budget for 2018 is about one percent of our total expenses.
• Donations, grants and volunteers: We are very fortunate to have the ongoing support of the community. In 2018, we received $28,648 in donations, $7,195 in donated items and $6,241 in grants, 6 percent of our total revenue. Our volunteers contributed 1,437 hours, about three-quarters of a full-time position, up 32 percent from last year.
• Technology: This year we had 24,845 website visitors, 5,595 e-book and audio-book downloads, 364 Facebook likes — all up over last year — and 386 Tech Time consults, a dramatic 58 percent increase. Public computer usage in the library decreased seven percent to 17,376, no doubt because so many people are accessing our wireless service using their own devices in the library, on the benches outside our front door and in the parking lot not only during library hours but actually 24/7.
• Continuing education: To continue to provide our community with the best possible service, several of our staff attended a variety of educational and networking opportunities last year. In 2019, staff education is 1.1 percent of our total budget.
All-ages movie
Join us Friday, March 15, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. for a free PG movie suitable for all ages. Our contract does not allow us to identify the film titles in the media, but you can find them listed on the activities calendars.
Otaku Club
The Otaku (Anime/Manga) Club meets Monday, March 18, from 4 to 5 p.m. Join us to watch anime, talk about manga and Asian cultures, and enjoy snacks. This free club is for those in the fifth through 12th grades.
Paws to Read
Next Wednesday, March 20, from 11 a.m. to noon, youngsters from kindergarten through fifth grades are invited to share their favorite books with Bacchus, a therapy dog who loves listening to stories, at a free Paws to Read session. This is a great way for beginning readers to build confidence.
Teen writers group
Join us next Wednesday, March 20, from 4 to 5 p.m. for our free teen writers meeting for seventh through 12th graders. This group’s interests include stories, poetry, graphic novels and fan fiction.
DIY for adults
At this month’s free DIY event next Wednesday, March 20, from 1 to 2 p.m., we’ll celebrate spring by learning how to repurpose plastic bottles to make inexpensive and attractive lawn ornaments for your yard, garden or patio. No registration is required.
Computer classes
Join us for free sessions from 1 to 2 p.m. on alternating Thursdays to learn a useful technology skill or application. March 28 details how to navigate commonly used features on your Windows, Android or Apple smartphone or tablet. No registration is required.
Academy Award films
We have DVDs of three movies nominated for best picture and several additional Academy Awards. “A Star is Born” won for best song. “BlacKKKlansman” received multiple nominations and won best adapted screenplay. “Black Panther” won Academy Awards for original score and costume design. These films also received honors from the Golden Globes and AARP Movies for Grownups Awards, notably best director for Spike Lee for “BlacKKKlansman” from the AARP awards. Also, we have “Shoplifters,” a Japanese movie nominated for best foreign language film.
Other DVDs
“The Child in Time” is a Masterpiece Theatre film based on the novel by Ian McEwan. “North and South” is a BBC production of a love story set in the changing world of Victorian industrial society. “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries” is series three.
Mysteries, thrillers and suspense
“The Lost Night” by Andrea Bartz explores a suicide that may have been murder.
“Wild Bill” by Tom Clavin is a biography of Wild Bill Hickok. “Drug Warrior” by Jack Riley is an exploration of the hunt for El Chapo and the rise of America’s opioid crisis. “Truth Bombs” by conservative analyst Steve Deace looks that why the author feels the Republican Party frequently betrays conservative beliefs. “The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump” by Andrew G. McCabe is a memoir by the former FBI deputy director fired by President Donald Trump.
“The First Conspiracy” by Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch explores a secret plot to kill George Washington. “Siege of Stone” by Terry Goodkind is volume three of the Sister of Darkness: The Nicci Chronicles. “The Eulogist” by Terry Gamble is set in Ohio in the decades before the Civil War. “Crucible” by James Rollins is a Sigma Force thriller.
Thanks to our donors
For books and materials this week, we thank Paul Matlock and our anonymous donors. For their generous monetary donation, we are grateful to Kris and James Minor.
Quotable quote
“Any definition of a successful life must include service to others.” — President George H.W. Bush.
For more information on library books, services and programs — and to reserve books, e-books, CDs and DVDs from the comfort of your home — please visit our website at https://pagosalibrary.org.

This story was posted on March 15, 2019.