Director's Report - February 10, 2015

Mathews Memorial Library
Bette Dillehay, Director
February 10, 2015


This report is intended to provide the Chairman and members of the Board of Trustees with a report of activities during the period January 13 – February 10, 2015.   

Financial Report

Operational expenses for the report period totaled $11,124.20.  Current year-to-date expenses total $52,704.06.  Unencumbered funds (not including salaries and related benefits) total $61,881.03 of which $45,345.94 are approved budget funds and $16,535.09 in Grants/DonationsThis latter amount includes $6,000.00 provided by the Friends of the Library as payment for the purchase of a smart board obtained primarily for use in the Teen Territory.

To date, expenses for salaries and related benefits for the period ending January 31, 2015 have not been received from the Office of the County Administrator.

Facilities Update.

The new smart board was recently used in conducting a digital camera class conducted by Becky Barnhardt.  Twenty-five students were enrolled.  The board was reported to be a great addition to the class.  It provided great flexibility and very clear photographic examples.

The move to relocate the archives/history staff to the former technical staff area on the second floor, is complete.  All that remains to be done with regard to this project is installation of new shelving in the archives.

The library has always maintained an active calendar in terms of use of the John Warren Cooke Conference Room.  In the last few months, however, requests to use the facility have increased significantly, with most being organizations who wish to do so on a regular basis.  Included among the new users are the Coast Guard Auxiliary, YMCA, Spelling Bee and Open Mike.  This is in addition to long-term users such as the Mathews County Historical Society and SEAC.  February through mid-April brings the AARP and their tax assistance program each Friday.

Patron Update

The current number of patrons is 10,932.   The total number of patrons and/or visitors to the library during the report period totaled 3,661.   

Personnel Update

The objective of filling the current open position for Head, Adult Services, is on hold, pending final budget approval.


Much time was spent by staff in January planning programs which are scheduled for February and March.  A new approach is being utilized for offering technology workshops in which classes are scheduled for the entire year and are announced quarterly.  They include tech topics and basic computer classes.  The response has been quite positive.  An interesting program featuring the former poet laureate of Virginia, Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda will take place on Thursday, February 19th at 4 p.m.  Her presentation will explore the lives of artists, Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, as portrayed in her book, “The Embrace.”

Youth programming is quite active.  A news release, published recently in the local paper, outlined an emphasis on reading for pre-kindergarten and first grade.  To support this, the library has launched a program to encourage parents to read 1,000 books to their children before they reach kindergarten.  The youth services coordinator from the Library of Virginia has been invited to speak on this subject at a special event to be scheduled in March.  Three programs were created for the Teen Territory.  The first, a movie, was to be held on Friday, February 6, using the smart board.  Unfortunately, it did not draw a large crowd.  The second program is a Mardi Gras party on February 17th.  In March the library will celebrate Youth Art Month.  With the assistance of former art teacher, Karen Podd, the students will form groups to create artwork to be applied to the front windows of the teen area.  The theme of the work is “A Better World” in keeping with the library initiative to encourage teens to recognize their potential.