Year in Review: The Library in 2011 [UPDATED]Published 9:06am Friday, December 30, 2011 Updated 11:07am Friday, December 30, 2011
The final numbers aren’t in yet, but as we count down the days and hours of 2011, it is time to sit back, relax and take in all that we’ve accomplished in 2011. Please permit me just a few column inches of shameless gloating for the Fergus Falls Public Library.
Top Five of 2011:
1. Cowles library gift
The nearly $1 million gift from the late Elizabeth M. (Sis) and Henry (Hank) Cowles to the Fergus Falls Public Library tops the list of great things that happened to the library in 2011. While we will always miss such avid library supporters as the Cowles, their generous gift will help ensure that the library remains a quality, core community service for years to come by contributing to a future library building project.
2. Reinstated library operating hours
In August, the library was able to reinstate the five operating hours it lost due to anticipated budget cuts in April 2010, and we haven’t looked back. Since the reinstatement, more library books, movies and audiobooks are being checked out and more customers are using the library.
3. Launch of library ebooks and downloadable audiobooks
In mid-May, all of the Viking Library System libraries launched the digital catalog of ebooks and downloadable audiobooks. To date, Fergus Falls Public Library cardholders have checked out more than 2,250 items from the digital catalog. Get a new ereader for the holidays? Be sure to take a look at the library’s digital offerings at www.fergusfalls.lib.mn.us
4. Coffee at the library
In September, with the help of the Friends of the Library and Stumbeanos Coffee Company, we launched our new coffee service. The suggested donation is one dollar and all proceeds benefit library programs and services.
5. Laptop check-out
In November, we began checking out laptops for customers to use within the library. This expanded the number of computers we have available for public use and cut down on wait time. We also plan to use the laptops to offer more technology classes to our customers beginning this next year.
Well, because I am limited to a 475 word column, I can’t stretch this to a Top Ten list, so to wrap-up, I would like to highlight just a few of the special community events the library participated in, in 2011.
This list includes the first-ever Toast and Jelly Days Storytelling Festival held in Van Dyk park (watch for the second-ever Toast and Jelly Days June 30) and the celebration of the Aldo Leopold weekend held in March.
Also, as a result of the state Legacy Amendment, the library was able to offer a number of events centered around the arts, history and culture, look for more Legacy-funded events in 2012.
Indeed, with these accomplishments behind us, 2012 looks brighter than ever (break out your shades!)
Erin Smith is the library director of the Fergus Falls Public Library.