Top Accomplishments of 2014
Goals for current year:
Volunteers: Friendly, reliable people to work at the circulation desk, people with diverse interests to help expand adult programming, tech-savvy volunteers to assist patrons with a wide-range of devices.
Supplies/Miscellaneous:We are happy to accept gently used e-readers or tablets which are less than two years old. We would also consider gently used, but fairly new printers, scanners, laptops and PCs. We can always use books for all ages!
While the Lancaster Community Library of today bears little physical similarity to the original cottage, it still remains the "heart of the community". Established in 1961 with the financial and material support of private citizens in the Northern Neck, the Library has undergone many changes over the years. From the small white cottage on School Street to a new building in 1975 with subsequent expansions and the addition of the Storymobile, the Library continues to support new technology and the demands of growing patronage. Governed by a board of directors elected by the membership, the Library is managed by a full-time library director who oversees a staff of eight and a corps of more than 80 volunteers. It is the combined efforts of these individuals that contributes to the success of the Library.
The library offers a collection of about 45,000 items including books, magazines, newspapers, audiobooks and ebooks for a wide variety of ages. The library maintains 13 computers for public use and wireless internet access as well. The children’s room features a special computer with games and activities for pre-schoolers.
Recently, my dog, Butch, and I traveled to Luray to hike
7-miles through the Shenandoah National Park to Mary’s Rock. After walking for only a few minutes, Butch
and I were treated to lovely vistas of Luray and the surrounding valley. I didn’t pause for long because I was eager to
reach our destination. After a mile on
the trail, another stunning view appeared. I snapped a few pictures and hurried along. Three hours of hiking switchbacks and steep climbs
brought us to Mary’s Rock. The guidebook
description of the view was not exaggerated. It was just glorious. A little
crowded, but breathtaking nevertheless. On the three-hour trip back to the trailhead, I took a little more time
to enjoy those overlooks that I so quickly passed on the way in. The quiet beauty of the less traveled path
allowed me the space to reflect on Ralph Waldo Emerson’s immortal words, “Life
is a journey, not a destination.”
The new building will be a destination in our community – more space for people, a more open and welcoming environment, and more technology. My favorite part about the capital campaign is sharing the library story – how we make a difference to those we serve.
Your library grows and changes as the needs of our community change. This is our journey. While I am excited and eager to get into our new building, I appreciate the opportunities that we have every day to introduce a child to a new picture book, to assist a hearing impaired senior with finding an audiobook, and to provide meeting space for discussion about world events.
Lancaster County Public Schools, Rappahannock Art League, Volunteer Income Tax Association, Rappahannock Community College, Boys and Girls Club of the Northern Neck, Visions, Rappahannock Westminster Canterbury.
In 2011, LCL hosted 74 programs for children with a total attendance of 3,872. We offer several exciting programs for children including preschool storytime (ages 3-5), Babygarten (6 months to 2 years) and the Summer Reading Program, a six-week program designed to make reading fun for children ages 3-12.
The goal of our children’s programming is to encourage an interest in reading and learning both in children and their caregivers. The attendance at our programming demonstrates a positive response from the community.
Babygarten is a program designed for children and their caregivers. Ms. Tonya leads the caregivers through the process of sharing a book, singing songs and learning to engage in creative play together. This builds better communication between caregiver and child. Storytime and the Summer Reading Program really focus on helping children sit quietly and engage in a story shared by Ms. Tonya or a specialized performer. If absorbing the content and vocabulary is an investment in long-term success, developing the ability to sit quietly in a group and listen to a story is certainly a short-term success for small children.
Studies show that children who are exposed to more words by the age of three are more successful in school. Our programs all focus on building vocabulary and pre-school literacy skills as well as motor skills (craft activities) and even sign language. Participating in children’s programs at a young age will help these children be more prepared for the classroom.
Our Storymobile, a year-round traveling library van that reaches into Lancaster and Northumberland counties, offers reading programs to preschool children during the school year and to children of all ages during the summer months. The Storymobile sees an average of 150 children per month during the school year and 200 children during the summer. The Storymobile stops at home daycares as well as licensed daycare facilities. Tonya Carter, our children’s librarian, reads books each week to the 3-year old class and to the Pre-Kindergarten classes at Lancaster Primary School. She also reads books each week to the preschoolers at the YMCA and Chesapeake Academy. Lindsy Gardner, the director, reads books each week to the kindergarteners at the Lancaster Primary School.
The Storymobile programming focuses on helping children to sit quietly and engage in a story. If absorbing the content and vocabulary is an investment in long-term success, developing the ability to sit quietly in a group and listen to a story is certainly a short-term success for small children. Also, the Storymobile encourages children to check out books from the small collection on board the vehicle. When the children take home books and return them on three successive weeks, they get a free book to keep!
Our Adult Programming consists of the Sundays at Two lecture series held on six winter Sundays and a library book discussion group which meets year-round. The Sundays at Two committee of volunteers selects and invites speakers, markets the program and makes cookies for every lecture. The attendance for our Sundays at Two lectures this year increased to a total of 760 people for an average attendance of 126 people per program. Library staff streamed the lectures from an iPad in the meeting room to a large flat-screened television in the main reading area. This system allowed people sitting in our main library to see and hear the speaker when seating became unavailable in the meeting room which can only accommodate 120 people.
Our library book discussion group has been growing in popularity since its inception in 2011. We now have an average attendance of about 15 people, including 4 men. The group selects titles to read during the year, and the library purchases extra copies.
The books chosen for the library book discussion group stay checked out year around by people who don’t necessarily come to the discussion. Most people enjoy having recommended books, and the book discussion list serves that function. Also, patrons who join our book discussion group often express an interest in volunteering at the library. We have acquired at least three new library volunteers from our library book discussion group.
Technology can be a lonely affair, and humans (well most of us) need interaction with others in a safe and hospitable environment to feel fulfilled. The library provides that experience every single day as almost 100 people flow through our doors, but on certain Sundays in January, February, and March, over 100 people gather in the same room (mostly) at the same time to do more than connect. These folks are curious about the world, how they fit into it, and how they can be better informed citizens. Through local and regional speakers, Sundays at Two brings the wider world to our neck of the woods. The library book discussion group helps to connect people through a safe environment to express opinions about a wide variety of books.
We provide a collection of about 45,000 items that includes magazines, newspapers, books, audiobooks, and movies for all ages. We have three Kindles available for check-out as well. We also provide a collection of about 5,000 downloadable ebooks and audiobooks. We provide access to free music downloads, language instruction and financial information through our web site. We have 13 computers available for public use as well as wireless internet access.
While the circulation of print materials is declining slowly, we still check-out about 90,000 items per year. We understand that ebooks are changing reading habits, so we are gradually increasing our investment in downloadable ebooks and other electronic resources. While usage of our public computers is increasing modestly, our wireless internet usage is increasing more robustly as smart-phones and tablets become more popular and affordable.
Our print and electronic collection encourages life-long learning and leisure reading. Access to the internet helps people to further their education and secure employment. We continue to bridge the digital divide for those who cannot afford internet access or live where internet access is not available.
We provide technology training opportunities for the public both in groups and one-on-one. We provide short, introductory classes about downloading ebooks, getting acquainted with the iPad and figuring out what apps are all about. We also encourage people to make an appointment with our technology specialist, our director, or a tech-savvy volunteer to get individual instruction on how to use a device. This service has been so popular that we are already at capacity even without any formal advertisement.
We assist about 10-12 people per week with technology issues or instruction.
Devices and phones offer almost limitless possibilities through apps and other on-line services. Our library can help people in our rural community learn how to benefit from these advances. We are the only nonprofit offering one-on-one instruction, and we have had very positive feedback about the program. This is another form of bridging the digital divide, only this divide is more along the lines of age demographics rather than socio-economic demographics.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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