Director's Report - June 9, 2015


Mathews Memorial Library

Bette Dillehay, Director

June 9, 2015

This report is intended to provide the Chairman and members of the Board of Trustees with a

report of activities during the period May 12 – June 9, 2015.

Operational expenses for the report period totaled $4,811.21. Current year-to-date expenses total

$82,177.66. Unencumbered funds (Not including salaries and related benefits) total $37,110.36.

Grants/donations to date stand at $21,238.02

Through April 30, 2015, salaries and related benefits totaled $202,800.60 or 79.4% of the

budgeted amount for FY 2014-2015 ($255,556.00). Salary expenses for the report period were

$18,498.86 with $52,755.40 remaining unencumbered for FY 2015.

Statistics relating to patron activities are unavailable for this report period.

Carol McCormack has served in a part-time position as head of youth services since 2012. Carol

has made the decision to “retire” effective June 19. This action represents a challenge in terms

of preparation for the summer youth program, but we are confident that our efforts to present a

successful program will be fruitful. The position, until Carol’s tenure, was a full-time position. It

is our intention to re-establish it as full-time. Response has been excellent to our invitation to

apply for the position of Head, Youth Services. The candidates responding reflect both

appropriate education and experience. It is planned to select a candidate no later than June 15.

A full-time post also exists for the position of head, teen services. It is planned to restructure this

slightly, making it a staff position in youth services and offer the full-time position to Amy

Hudgins who currently works in a part-time role. Amy is nearing completion of work for

certification as a para-professional, making her well-qualified for the staff position..

Library in Retrospect and Looking Forward

A recent article appearing in Public Libraries discusses “Re-Envisioning Public Libraries and

outlines four strategies for success. The following is an assessment of the Mathews Memorial

Library in terms of addressing those strategies.

1. Align Library Services in Support of Community Goals

The community of Mathews is experiencing change. To respond to some of these, the

library has chosen to find ways of collaborating with community partners and policy

makers. Chief among such collaborative efforts are organizations focusing on young

people and youth programs. The library played a leading role in establishing

Coaliltion4Kids, which has received three grants from The Community Foundation to

foster and support specific youth projects. The latest, awarded just recently, is a $5,000

grant for the C4K “Teen Volume” series of programs.

Space is provided for a staff member of the Parent Resource Council each Thursday and

Saturday to provide interaction with parents of children with special needs. Because such

a large portion of community pre-school children are in day-care centers, the library does

outreach story time to expand our program of enrichment for this age group.

A major collaborative effort continues in concert with the Mathews County Historical

Society. Begun in 2003, all Society materials are catalogued and housed in the library.

Support is provided to the organization primarily through the efforts of staff member,

Becky Barnhardt, both in research and program development.

Last, but not least, the meeting spaces within the library are in continuous use by a wide

variety of community organizations.

2. Provide Access to Content in All Formats

The public library is no longer viewed solely as a repository of print books. Reading

material is also available in audio and digital formats. In addition, the Mathews library,

like other public libraries, has shifted its focus toward serving as a platform for learning

and participation. This is most effectively accomplished by providing access to greater

amounts of content in multiple formats through an agreement with a number of Virginia

libraries in a cooperative initiative, SoValue, as well as contractual agreements executed

by the Library of Virginia (LVA). These provide access for patrons to literally thousands

of titles, as well as periodicals and music. In addition, LVA, using grant funds from

IMLS, provides online access to two major databases, Literati and Find It Virginia. Last,

but not least, the library subscribes to a newspaper database including hundreds of local

and national newspapers.

3. Ensure Long-Term Sustainability of Public Libraries

Mathews Memorial Library is fortunate to be adequately funded as a County agency. In

addition, the financial support of the Friends of the Library allows the library to offer

programs and resources without which such activities as the summer youth program,

Soothin’ Summer Sounds and many other valuable events would not be possible. To

sustain this support it is important to be accountable and results oriented. Traditionally,

this has been accomplished by tallying numbers relating to number of patrons, books

checked out, program attendance, etc. A more meaningful method is being pursued by

the Mathews library to become adept at measuring outcomes and impacts rather than

counting activities. Our youth programs are the major focus for this effort. Encouraging

early literacy is a major initiative where we explore creative activities based on planned

reading programs. The response has been favorable. A recent study conducted by LVA

demonstrated the positive impact of summer reading programs on SOL scores in

elementary school environments.

4. Cultivate Leadership

Mathews County is fortunate in having a number of organizations dedicated to improving

the quality of life in the community, extending their commitment to all ages. The library

is dedicated to playing an integral role in this goal. Participating in the Resource Council

gives the library an opportunity, not only to learn what other organizations are doing, but

also to learn of ways participation by the library would add value. Staff members are

active in numerous groups as well, including the Mathews Historical Society, Mathews

Main Street and C4K. In addition, and equally important, the library attempts to keep

community leaders aware of library activities that address community needs.

Youth Programs. All efforts are directed toward ensuring that the youth/teen summer programs

are successful. We are encouraged by the response to date and anticipate excellent participation

in both. The teen program, in particular, is challenging to present and includes a learning curve

for everyone, staff and volunteers.

Adult Programs. The 2015 Soothin’ Summer Sounds series, “Play It Again…” is a look back to

previous favorites based on a survey conducted at the end of the 2014 season. The three

programs planned are expected to be quite popular. The first event, to be held June 25th at 7 p.m.

features the “Bagels and Fralox Klezmer Band.” Art Muroff & Friends will perform on July 16th

at 7 p.m. and the season will close on August 27th at 4 p.m. with the Ambrosia Quartet, a

chamber music ensemble.