Director's Report - July 11, 2017

Mathews Memorial Library
Bette Dillehay, Director
July 11, 2017

This report is intended to provide the Chairman and members of the Board of Trustees with a report of activities during the period May 9 – July 11, 2017.

Financial Report
Current Reporting Period
The current financial report is a statement of resources and expenses for a two-month period ending June 30, 2017. Operational expenses for the bi-monthly period totaled $15,488.92. Year-to-date expenses totaled $90,115.77, or 77.1% of budget (not including grants/donations), and reflect an 8.49% increase over the previous fiscal year total. Current unencumbered funds total $33,435.75, including funding of $5,462.60 in line item 3001 (C4K grant).

Salaries and related expenses
As of June 30, 2017, expenses totaled $233,702.81, an average of $19,475.24 per month. The total amount budgeted for salaries and related benefits for FY2016-2017 is $248,951 or roughly $20,750 per month.

The budget approved by the Board of Supervisors for FY 2017-18 is $375,032. The increase of $8,253 reflects an across-the-board 2% increase for full-time employees. There were no cuts in any library line items. A request to carry forward the C$K grant funds of $5,000 was submitted to the Office of the County Administrator.

Patron Update
The current number of patrons is 11,755, an increase of 38 patrons over the previous report period and a 2.85% increase over the previous year. The average number of patrons and others visiting the library daily during the report period was 197.

Again during the report period, it was necessary to make adjustments in the weekend personnel line-up.. Kurt Hugo, a recent staff member hired for a weekend position, having found fulltime employment, submitted his resignation, effective June 30. An ad placed in the Gazette Journal produced 4 responses. Christy Poteet, a former part-time staff member, was selected. She began her work on July 9 and will work 6 hours a week on Saturday and Sunday.

Computer Training
A Basic Computer Skills workshop was held June 5-8. Carol McCormack serves as lead instructor on a contract basis for this workshop. She is assisted by library staff.


Digitization Project
The library has launched an ambitious technology project, eaching out to museums and related organizations throughout the community. The goal is to provide full, open and equal access to this wide variety of primary research materials. Digitization is defined as the creation of digital objects from physical originals. It encompasses a complete process that includes a variety of steps toward creating digital images that can be shared.

In late May, the library convened several meetings with local historic/maritime museum representatives, including the Mathews County Historical society, the Gwynn’s Island Museum, Maritime Foundation and the Mathews County Museum, the intent being to launch a project that would provide digitization services to them, including housing the digitized material in a library sponsored “cloud” accessible to the participants. The library has created a policy and a MOU (attached), to govern the project’s operations. Phase one of the project will focus on digitizing maritime photographs and paintings dating to 18th and 19th centuries.

Hosting Event
The library was approached by the Mathews County Historical society with a request to host a meeting of the Virginia Department of History Resources Board Meeting. The two-day event took place on June 14-15 and involved extensive use of library space and facilities. Both local and State participants deemed the event quite successful.

Read It Mathews. The library initiated a return to a popular program in May with the introduction of the book Tribe by Sebastian Junger as a community read selection. While getting a slow start, it has enjoyed a very positive response, especially following the immensely popular program held June 13th attended by more than 50 people.

The library sponsored book clubs have been quite interested in the program. While all club members did not agree with the author’s observations and conclusions, they engendered lively and thoughtful comments during discussions. The program will conclude with a Skype interview with the author, Sebastian Junger scheduled for July 12th at 2 pm. Junger is a former war correspondent, journalist and author who resides in Manhattan. He has been most gracious in his comments on the Mathews program.

Soothin’ Summer Sounds returned on a “High Note” with the appearance of Plunky and the Oneness on June 8th with 73 attendees enjoying the evening. Two programs are forthcoming – Art Muroff & Friends on Thursday, July 13th and the Ambrosia Quartet on Thursday, August 31st. Both programs begin at 7 pm.

Highland Games. Young patrons were not overlooked in spring program planning as once again the library conducted it annual Highland Games on Friday, June 23rd at the Mathews Ruritan Center. This year marked the 13th time the event has been held and attracted a record 49 children. It featured, in addition to competitive games, the Saint Andrews Bagpipe Band of Richmond and lunch for all who attended.

This is Us. All members of the staff are poised to begin the youth summer program, “This is Us.” Currently, 28 children between the ages of 6 to 14 are registered to participate. The goal is to instill in young attendees a sense of place and what it means to be a citizen of Mathews, while ensuring that a good time is had by all.

All of the programs mentioned are possible only through the generosity of the Friends who, this year, approved $10,000 in funds to cover costs.