Director's Report - September 13, 2016

Mathews Memorial Library
Bette Dillehay, Director
September 13, 2016

This report is intended to provide the Chairman and members of the Board of Trustees with a report of activities during the period July 12 – September 13, 2016.

Mathews Market Days annually brings new opportunities (and challenges) to the library. Among the challenges is the need for extended hours on Saturday. While most county offices closed early at 1 pm on Friday, the library was open until 6 pm as usual but also open 9 am until 5 pm on Saturday. Staff members stepped up to the need to provide service by working during those times.

Financial Report
Current Reporting Period
The current financial report is a statement of resources and expenses for the first two months of FY 2016-17. Operational expenses for the bi-monthly period and year-to-date expenses totaled $15,573.28, an decrease of $2,697.93 from the previous fiscal year total. Unencumbered operating funds of $98,639.54 for FY 2016-17 include carry-over funding of $4,880.00 in line item 3001 (C4K grant).

Salaries and related expenses for the bi-monthly report period as reported by the office of the county administrator totaled $39,875.37. The total amount budgeted for salaries and related benefits for FY2016/2017 is $248,951 or roughly $20,750 per month. To date we are slightly under budget for these expenses.

The library realized significant savings recently when obtaining upgrades to public/staff computer operating systems. By diligently pursuing such savings, Greg Lewis, head of technical services, located the upgrade licenses at a cost of $2,939.58, a 70% discount from market price.

A quite unexpected and very generous donation of $1,000 was made to the library in August by Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Woodward. According to Mr. Woodward, the gift was made in gratitude for services extended to him by members of the staff. The donation has been placed with the county in the library’s line item 3000. We are currently exploring the need for after-school student tutoring with the intent of using the donation to provide such a service should it prove to be a positive addition to current youth and teen services.

Patron Update
The current number of patrons is 11,489, an increase of 60 patrons over the previous report period and a 3.51% increase over the previous year. The average number of patrons and others visiting the library daily during the report period was 209.

Because public libraries play such a diverse role in a community, it requires a flexible, trained and energetic staff. The current staff at Mathews Memorial Library more than meets those criteria. In addition, each member continually demonstrates a willingness to stretch and assume new challenges and responsibilities. Please extend thanks for their continued excellence.

In recent months, weekend traffic has increased significantly, especially in the Teen Territory area. It became apparent that additional staffing was necessary to cover the major service areas. To increase the number of personnel on weekends required that we adjust the hours of service during the week. As a result, Lucy Kirkman, youth staff member, who had expressed an interest in shortening her hours, now works two rather than three days a week. This reduction allowed for the hiring of Nicole Hirtenstein, a RCC student, to work on Saturday and Sunday.

The summer program, Capture the Magic, attracted 65 youthful participants for four weeks in July. Their enthusiasm, along with parent feedback and staff evaluation, led to the consensus that it was among the best, if not the best, summer program in the 15 years they have been offered.

Soothin’ Summer Sounds “Notes Afloat” got off to a great start with the performance by J Plunky Branch, a jazz musician from Richmond and continued momentum with the appearance of Art Muroff in July and the VSO quartet in August. The average audience numbered 85 with the final performance in August attracting 102 attendees.

These programs, along with the annual Highland Games, are possible only through the generosity of the Friends of the Library. The total cost for the Highland Games, Capture the Magic summer youth program and Soothin’ Summer Sounds totaled $8,577.05.

Coming Events
A change in season brings with it a renewed sense of energy and an opportunity to offer new programs. Autumn 2016 is no different here at the library. We were excited to participate fully in Mathews Market Days with exhibits for adults and games, music and refreshments for young visitors. In October, we return to a favorite Sunday afternoon treat with a tea dance on October 2nd. November will feature an author forum with the appearance on November 10th of a well-known author, Robert Goolrick. The month will conclude with the annual Deck the Halls occurring on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, November 27th.