Director's Report - November 10, 2015

Mathews Memorial Library
Bette Dillehay, Director
November 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 October 13 – November 10, 2015. The director and staff member, Greg Lewis have completed the necessary compilation of data required annually by the Library of Virginia to qualify for state funding. The electronically generated report, Bibliostat, is a comprehensive report covering all facets of library activities. A copy is available for review in the office of the director.

Financial Report
Current Reporting Period
Operational expenses for the report period ending October 13th totaled $12,927.07. This amount includes the cost of a number of renewals ($6,580.91), the foremost being the annual periodicals renewal fee of $3,795.91 (line item 6012); $1,825.00 (line item 5240) to renew the library subscription to NewsBank; and $960 (line item 3160) annual fee for filtering and ensuring network security. Current year-to-date operating expenses total $38,504.30, an increase of $12,747.80 over the previous year-to-date total. The increase of 49.5% will be mostly eliminated in the next several months owing to the payment of the above items in December 2014 and January 2015 rather than November 2014.

Salary expenses for the report period were $20,271.30 compared with $21,721.86, the cost of salary and related expenses for the previous reporting period, for a year-to-date total of $82,335 or 28.5% of budget, placing us slightly under budget at this reporting. The total amount budgeted for salaries and related benefits for FY2015/2016 is $288,331.

Patron Update
The current number of patrons is 11,218, an increase of 40 patrons over the previous report period. Patrons and others visiting the library during the report period totaled 8,636.

Youth Services Head, Haven Headley, recently represented the Mathews Memorial Library at the annual Virginia Library Association conference held in Richmond. Haven also attended a workshop sponsored by the Library of Virginia/Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond. The workshop focused on incorporating STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) into the library program.

Facilities Update
Since reporting to the Board in October, a solution has been proposed and accepted for the problem associated with the conference room exit to the courtyard. After carefully examining the doorway in question, Kenny Wiggins, representing the firm who did the original work, has concluded that placing an awning over the door is the best means of addressing the issue. He has been authorized through the county’s representative, Jamie Wilks, to begin the work.

The solution to the drowning tree problem is also believed to be resolved. Using funding approved by the Friends of the Library for the project ($3,000), fixtures and equipment to create a fountain in the courtyard have been obtained. Installation is expected in the next several weeks in time for Deck the Halls. The fountain is in the form of a blue, 4-foot ceramic amphora, a type of container of a characteristic shape and size, descending from at least as early as the Neolithic Period. Amphorae were used in vast numbers for the transport and storage of various products, both liquid and dry, but mostly for wine.

Howl-a-Palooza, a jolly, but scary event for elementary, middle and high school students, was considered to be a big success. The event, held October 30 and 31st, was a two-day celebration of Halloween co-sponsored by Mathews Main Street, the library and members of Coalition4Kids. Activities included a party at the library, a trick-or-treat bag making at the Bay School and a parade on Main Street. Approximately 30 students attended each day’s events. We also received positive feedback from the merchants in the village who distributed treats.

A course in digital photography taught by Greg and Becky Barnhardt was scheduled to be held twice, once on Saturday, October 17 and the other on Wednesday, November 4th and 5th. The Saturday class was cancelled due to low registration; however, 15 persons attended the second scheduled event and reported great satisfaction with the workshop.

Deck the Halls
Plans for “Once upon a Christmas” are well underway. The major activity, Deck the Halls, is scheduled for Sunday, November 29, 2-4 p.m. Trees will be ready for decorating, carolers will be singing and a string trio will provide their wonderful sounds for the holiday. Several other events will follow:

Cherish the Memories
Wednesday, December 9, 2015, 3-5 p.m.
An invitation to teens to share the magic of the season and memories at an open house in the Teen Territory. Enjoy refreshments, and special readings of original essays – “Once upon a Christmas,” written by local teen authors.

A Fairytale Christmas
Tuesday, December 15, 2015, 6-7 p.m.
Pull on your pj’s, grab your blanket and your favorite teddy bear to join Santa for a very special story time. The magic of Christmas stories, along with hot chocolate and cookies, will be your special holiday treat.

A Sprinkling of Christmas
Thursday, December 17, 2015, 11 a.m. - Noon
Nothing about Christmas is more magical than the scents and aromas of the holiday season, especially those that come from the kitchen. Bake your favorite cookies and share with friends at the library’s annual Holiday Cookie Exchange. It’s a wonderful time to visit with friends, share memories and recipes and enjoy the treats of the season. Cookie and other memorable recipes will be published in a holiday cookbook. You may win a prize for the best holiday recipe.