Archive for January, 2011

Library security

Public libraries embrace and promote equality, providing access to information and technology to all, regardless of income, class or background, and helping to  close the gap between rich and poor. The Delaware County District Library offers services and programs for people of all literacy levels, preschoolers, students, homebound citizens, prisoners, homeless or impoverished individuals, and persons with physical or learning disabilities.  We have a proud heritage of being open to all and serving the public without prejudice or judgment.

Being open to all, however, also means that anyone may visit the Library, and while DCDL works diligently to provide a safe environment for all visitors, it is as impossible for us to maintain total security as it is to maintain total security in a public park or, for that matter, any business open to the public.  Knowing that keeping the Library as safe as possible is important to you, we have security guards at the Delaware Branch every afternoon and evening, and Library staff are trained to react to any situation they deem threatening.  It is still critical, though, for you to be aware of your surroundings and to keep a cautious eye on your children while they are in the Library; young children should never be left alone in the Library.  They should always have an older sibling or adult with them for their security.

I do not wish to be an alarmist, but today’s world is greatly changed from the world in which many of us grew up.  I encourage you to be mindful of your safety, and especially the safety of your children, while in the Library, for your peace of mind and for ours.

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2010 by the numbers

Thank you, Delaware, for once again setting record-breaking circulation numbers at the Delaware County District Library!  You checked out 1,033,365 items, an increase of more than 30,000 from 2009, when we hit 1,000,000 for the first time.  With the passage of the Library levy in 2009 (thank you again!), we were able to keep the pledge we made during our campaign to buy more bestsellers, children’s books, and DVDs for you to check out and enjoy.  Such a big increase in circulation certainly shows that you are using the resources that bought with your tax dollars.

Numbers, of course, don’t tell the whole story of any organization, but they do provide some impressive details to help illustrate how busy DCDL was in 2010.

Library staff handled nearly 2,000,000 transactions last year (check outs, check ins, holds, and renewals).

The Library added 30,129 new items in 2010, an increase of 2,396 from the prior year.  Currently, the Library owns 239,905 items, an increase of 7.3% over 2009, and an astounding 46% increase over the last decade.

The Library’s web site had more than 203,674 hits in 2010, and more than 53,000 Internet session.

The number of eBooks downloaded from the Library’s web site jumped 102%!

Librarians answered almost 100,000 questions last year.

2010 was an amazing year for DCDL.  Please accept our heartfelt gratitude for helping us to achieve these record numbers.  It’s wonderful to realize how important the Delaware County District Library is to our community!

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DCDL–What’s it worth to you?

Have you ever wondered how much money you save by taking advantage of the resources at the Delaware County District Library?  The American Library Association (ALA) has a nifty widget on their web site called the “Library Calculator” that will show you how much money you would have spent to buy the resources that you borrowed from the Library.  When I used the calculator, I was delighted to see that I had saved about $7500 last year by borrowing books, movies, and using other resources such as online databases.

Public libraries are as valuable to our community as they are to your pocketbook.  The popularity and importance of America’s public libraries continues to grow.  According to a recent report by the ALA, there are more public libraries than McDonald’s restaurants in the U.S, and Americans spent more than twice as much on candy as they did on public libraries.  Library use continues to rise, with public library visits exceeding 1.3 billion in 2008; in fact, libraries circulated more items than Fed Ex ships – more than 2 billion books, CDs, DVDs and more.

Perhaps more importantly, nearly all Americans (96%), even if they are not regular library visitors agree that libraries play a significant role in giving everyone a chance to succeed by supporting public education, job seekers and lifelong learning.

I invite you start saving immediately by checking out bestsellers, DVD’s, audio books, and eBooks (and so much more!) from the Library instead of buying them.  If you want to know how much you save by using the Library, check out the Library Calculator.

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Welcome to my blog!

Technology surrounds us these days, changing our world and the way we communicate with each other.  I have always been intrigued and curious about emerging technology, finding it fascinating how quickly it changes and how far-reaching it can be.  My newest experiment in technology, although admittedly the technology itself is “old” now, having been around all of 2 years or so is to use my Director’s Blog to make communicating with all of you easier, faster and perhaps more efficient.

This blog, “DCDLDirector” will provide an interactive online forum between the Delaware community and me, allowing me to provide you with information about the Delaware County District Library (DCDL), as well as giving you the opportunity to respond to my posts, ask questions, and offer comments and suggestions as to how DCDL can better meet your library needs.

For the last 22 years, I have been writing a weekly column in the Delaware Gazette, using that forum to talk about the Library and its services; this blog is an extension of my column that embraces and utilizes a different technology that will perhaps reach more readers.

My dad would often say, “That’s why there is more than vanilla ice cream” when he was explaining differences in the world to me.  In today’s communication environment, there truly is not a “one size fits all” approach, and by using as many different ways as possible to connect with the Delaware community, I would like to think that I am serving several flavors of ice cream so that you can find your favorite.

It’s easy to access the DCDLDirector blog.  Add our RSS Feed on the right, or you can access the blog through our Facebook page or the Delaware County District Library website.

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