Director's Report - October 13, 2015

Mathews Memorial Library
Bette Dillehay, Director
October 13, 2015

This report is intended to provide the Chairman and members of the Board of Trustees with a report of activities during the period September 8 – October 13, 2015.

Financial Report
Current Reporting Period
Operational expenses for the report period ending October 13th totaled $7,306.02. This amount includes a cost of $2,728.00 (AWE) in line item 6012 (Books and Subscriptions) for the purchase of a literacy service for pre-school and kindergarten children. Current year-to-date operating expenses total $25,577.23, an increase of $7,731.64 over the previous year-to-date total.

Salary expenses for the report period were $20,721.86 compared with $21,989.32, the cost of salary and related expenses for the previous reporting period, for a year-to-date total of $42,711.18 or 14.8% of budget. The total amount budgeted for salaries and related benefits for FY2015/2016 is $288,331.

The library received a reimbursement of $836.59 from MetroCast, internet service provider. As a participant in the federal e-rate program, the library receives a discount in telecommunication service fees based on the school poverty rate (lunch program) of the area served. Our current discount rate is 60%.

Patron Update
The current number of patrons is 11,178, an increase of 79 patrons over the previous report period. Patrons and others visiting the library during the report period totaled 6,010.

A recent change in the Teen Territory has brought new talent in the form of a very enthusiastic new staff member. Rachel Wood, a Mathews native, holds a degree in mass communications from Virginia Commonwealth University. She replaces Amy Hudgins who resigned to accept a position elsewhere. Rachel has been warmly received by teens who regularly visit the library.

Facilities Update
Several items have arisen to the level of attention lately, both of which have been ongoing concerns, one being the door leading from the J.W. Cooke Conference Room to the courtyard. Whether from the type of door or because it was installed improperly, it has consistently leaked during heavy rainfall. Recently after mopping for 40 minutes, I determined that it must be addressed. As a result, work is now underway to install a canopy over the door, one that matches the existing canopy over the rear door to the area.

The second item is less serious but equally deserving of attention. Trees were planted in three spaces in the courtyard. The middle area will not sustain a tree due to poor drainage. The solution adopted is to place a water treatment such as a fountain in the space. The Friends have approved funding for pursuing this solution, which is currently underway. Completion is expected within the next six weeks.

Plans are being made for Howl-a-Palooza, a jolly, but scary event for elementary and middle school students. The event is part of a two-day celebration of Halloween co-sponsored by Mathews Main Street, the library and members of Coalition4Kids. Other activities include a trick-or-treat bag making and parade on Main Street

An interesting teen program is scheduled to take place this week. In some ways a prelude to Deck the Halls, it is also a first attempt to engage teens in activities beyond their current experience. Jason Leahey, a professional writer and teacher, will conduct three writing workshops designed to help students explore the primary characteristics of exciting storytelling. Two of the workshops target children of the home-schooled community and the third high school students 13-18. As a part of our holiday program, students will be invited to write a story beginning with the phrase, “Once upon a Christmas.”

The focus for adults in the coming month is on technology workshops. A basic computer class was offered in late September. The evening class attracted 9 adults and was taught by Greg Lewis and former staff member, Carol McCormack. Additional evening courses are scheduled for October, including workshops on Microsoft Word and Excel. Because the cost of providing training has increased with Ms. McCormack no longer in a staff position, we are exploring means for providing such classes in an online mode, eliminating the need for incurring additional cost. We will continue to offer a basic course at regular intervals.

A two-day course in digital photography taught by Greg and Becky Barnhardt is scheduled to be held twice, once on Saturday, October 17 and the other on Wednesday, November 4th and 5th.

Deck the Halls is scheduled for Sunday, November 29, 1-3 p.m.