Director's Report - March 8, 2016

Mathews Memorial Library
Bette Dillehay, Director
March 8, 2016

This report is intended to provide the Chairman and members of the Board of Trustees with a report of activities during the period February 9 – March 8, 2016.

Financial Report
Current Reporting Period
Operational expenses for the report period totaled $5,460.50. Current year-to-date operating expenses total $62,245.28, a decrease of $3,470.97 over the previous year-to-date total. Unencumbered operating funds are $38,760.66 for the remainder of FY 2015-2016

Salaries and related expenses for the report period total $19,668.44 for a year-to-date total of $162,016.65 or 56.2% of budget, placing us slightly under budget at this time. The total amount budgeted for salaries and related benefits for FY2015/2016 is $288,331.

Patron Update
The current number of patrons is 11,288, an increase of 23 patrons over the previous report period. Patrons and others visiting the library during the report period totaled 7,535.

Haven Headley, Head of Youth Services, has received word of her acceptance into the Virginia Library Leadership Academy. She is among 24 participants who will meet in Staunton, Virginia, for a two-day training workshop, April 18-19.

February brought a variety of activities to the library. In recognition of Black History Month, quilts created by members of the community were displayed, garnering a great deal of interest. John Newcomb, Gloucester resident and author, spoke to a standing room only group about his experiences as an early engineer at NASA, which are documented in his book, “A Bunch of Plumbers.”

The library sponsored trip to the VMFA on February 10th was a big success. Forty-one persons, including 4 students, travelled to Richmond and enjoyed a full day of activities, including a tour of the Rodin exhibit, lunch and a lecture on the exhibit. To quote a thank-you from the students: “We had a blast and learned a lot about Rodin.”

Community Outreach
It should be noted that the library is increasingly a center of community activities and awareness. In addition to increased use of meeting areas by groups, we are invited to display items such as the large promotional display for the Courthouse Players, a painting by a local artist and a series of flower arrangements done by members of the local garden club. Each of these brings increased awareness of the library, while at the same time serving groups and organizations within the community.

Coming Events
Teens were encouraged to discuss the election process and participate in a mock primary election. Interest was generated in the issues candidates are (or are not) discussing and what the potential outcome will be in November.

March brings a series of programs that focus on young patrons. Saturday, March 5 was chosen to celebrate the birthday of famed children’s author, Dr. Seuss. A storytime with multiple reading areas replaces the programs done in previous years which featured a library activity at Lee Jackson School. The attendance of 17 young Dr. Seuss fans with accompanying parents was supplemented with reading in three areas of the library and a treat of a ‘green egg” dessert.

Again this year, the library will host a fantasy trip during the schools’ spring break. Spain is the selected designation and departure is set for Tuesday, March 29. Flight plans have been made and an itinerary laid out that includes lunch and a guided tour.