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Friday, October 4, 2013

Report of the Library Director for September, 2013

Fall circulation declines – Planning grant workshop – Possible schedule for renovations

September circulation activity was 4,677, which is 24.7% lower than last month and 13% lower than previous years.  (4% lower when compared only to Evergreen statistics.)  We expect a decline after the end of the summer, but this year’s drop was more precipitous than usual.  One other interesting point, the decline is consistent across all material types, instead of the childrens usage dropping while adult usage stayed steady, as I might have expected with back to school.

Laptops: 37.  Nooks: 4.  Games: 47.

Laptop use is nearly double, while video game checkouts are almost half.  Could more children be studying than playing games?

Unique Patrons
Upton Library currently has 1,924 items checked out to 434 unique patrons.

Digital Content Use
BYKI: In September, 14 users accessed byki for a total of 16.0 hours.  Our top languages were French and Hebrew.
Overdrive: eBook circulation to Upton patrons: 193, eAudio circulations: 44.
Wowbrary:   We have 136 active subscribers to Wowbrary. (+0)
New Patron Registrations:  10 new patrons registered in September.
New Items: We added approximately 68 items to the collection in September.
Passport Applications processed in September: 4.

Library book group: 9 people met on Sept 25th.
Senior book group: 7 people met on Sept 10th.
Thursday storytime averaged 4 children per session for 8 sessions.
TinyTots lapsit averaged 6 children per session for 4 sessions. 
Library Table: 4 visits, averaged 8 patrons and 36 items.
Lego Days: resumed on Sept 19th, and averaged 7 children for 2 sessions.

Special Events

Upcoming Events
Annual Book Sale – Friends of the Upton Town Library.  Heritage weekend, Saturday, October 5th.

Plans for Next Month
1) Grant applications – LCC and MBLC
2) Implement Library improvements plan
3) Prepare collection for library improvements
Library Improvements
Blythe Robinson, John Robertson and I met with two representatives from Vertex Construction Services on Oct 2nd.  We discussed the scope of work for the library improvements and what services we would need Vertex to provide.  The results of the meeting were mostly positive, our budget is within a reasonable range to complete the required work, and Vertex is capable of providing the services we need.
The Trustees need to make the following decisions:
1)     Should we hire Vertex to act as our project coordinator?
2)     What is the priority order of the work in case we need to cut items to stay within our budget.
3)     What amount of additional funds, if any, should we request at the special town meeting in November.
4)     What dates should we schedule for the library to be closed to complete the work.

On the last point, Vertex agreed that 3-4 weeks should be sufficient, barring any unforeseen circumstances.
I would like to suggest Dec 1st – Dec 31st as closed days.  It would be easy to remember, as we’d be closed the month of December.  It would give us 3 solid weeks for work to be completed, then the half week of Christmas to put the library back together again.  We could have a grand re-opening event on New Years eve, possibly tying into “First Night Upton”
Other possiblities would be to close starting Nov 26th, to include the Thanksgiving holiday, or to wait a few weeks and close Dec 15th – Jan 15th, which would give us two more weeks to get ready.

Certification and Financial Report
These reports have been completed and submitted to the MBLC.  For FY13, we actually were under our appropriation requirement by $94, due to revenues from the revolving fund being lower than anticipated.  Fortunately, certification is granted based on anticipated revenue, not actual revenue.  This shows the dangers of cutting our appropriation so close to the minimum needed for certification.  For FY14, because of our staff re-organization and larger wage appropriation, our anticipated revenues are $3,000 over the minimum, which gives us more safety cushion.

Planning and Design Grant
John and I attended the grant application workshop on Oct 1st.  The grant application is due in mid-January.  Matthew should be capable of completing the majority of the application, which occasional input from the Trustees.  A few items, such as population projections, community needs assessment and indications of support from other town boards will require me to gather information from outside sources.
The trustees should decide what point in the process makes the most sense to re-establish the Library Feasibility Committee.  It could be done now, to help with the grant application, or it could wait until after the grant has been approved.

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