From the Director:
John D. Richmond
“Compendium: A concise compilation of a body of knowledge.” Don’t like that? It does violate rules of simple language in public writing. I am guilty as charged.
Richmond’s definition: “A bunch of stuff gathered together at the last minute when newsletter deadlines are really CLOSE, and the Library Director cannot crank out anything truly spiffy.”So, here’s a compendium, with bullets, of things happening at the library, or that have happened, or that will happen.
- As I write on 6/11, we are getting closer to publishing bids for roof replacement, 1985 part of the building. We got a $60,000 “Live & Learn” matching grant from the office of the Secretary of State to help raise the roof. And it will be raised, with more insulation for energy efficiency.
- Starting in July, we are budgeting for more electronic books, to serve our growing number of e-patrons. Working on a plan to improve the books on CD collection, too.
- Within a week of Summer Reading’s kickoff, we had 200+ people enrolled in the adult reading program, twice as many participants as we usually have all summer long.
- Remembering that I am writing ahead of time, at the June library board meeting we expect to swear in a new trustee, Sara Woiwode. Welcome, Mrs. Woiwode!
- Remembering, again, that I am writing ahead of time, on that same day the board will meet with Lee Logan, our consultant, to explore Alpha Park’s goals for the next three years.
- Courtesy of Peoria County and a special grant, we are buying new laptops—and maybe a tablet or two—for patron use in the library.
- We have outfitted study tables with electrical outlets; folks can plug in their computers and not rely only upon a wireless connection to the Internet.
- If fortune smiles on the Friends of the Library, their book sale at the end of June will have been a big success. In connection with strategic planning, it’s possible that a portion of the proceeds will be turned into a scholarship for college-bound students. No promises, but stay tuned.
- Shelving has expanded room for large print books, which are “hot” items for people of all ages.
- By the time you read this, we will have finished a series of technology training sessions on June Saturdays. If weekend training proves popular, why—it might continue.
- Progress continues on our redesigned website, with a terrific marketing committee on the job.
After all those bullets, three observations: 1) Ever since we attacked our last strategic plan, in 2008-9, the pace of life, programming, activities—everything has ramped-up in speed; 2) technology remains our greatest source of change which is lightning-fast and sometimes unpredictable, providing intense pressure for staff to keep up with reality; and 3) the library is bursting at its seams. In an age in which some people predict the premature death of libraries, there is life at the corner of Airport Road and Garfield Avenue, radiating (?bursting?) out into the far corners of our district.