Librarians Suzanne Moore and Peggy Bailey gave a “State of the Library” presentation before donors on Wednesday, Oct. 23.
The donor group, Friends of the Library, accounts for 3 percent of the public library’s total budget. Other funds come from county grants, state aid, fund balances and fines.
“We have been doing a lot of outreach as part of Communities Matter,” Moore, chief librarian for the Ashe County Public Library said.
Moore was able to report that 48 percent of the Ashe County population are library card holders. The library had 101,813 visitors through the fiscal year and circulated 148,228 items.
Some projects were grant projects including “Growing Book by Book” and “Bridging Cultures,” sponsored by BREMCO and the American Library Association.
The public library sponsored 498 programs in the fiscal year. The events brought in 10,161 attendees.
Throughout the year, the library also hosted its first events related to National Novel Writing Month, started the “Brew-Ha-Ha” book discussions at Boondocks and rolled out Little Free Libraries, called “Twigs,” throughout the outlying areas of the county.
“We are planning some community building workshops before the spring,” Moore said. “We already have other places targeted to build the twigs.”
During Moore’s presentation, she focused on the different programs the library hosted including: Community Read, different festival setups and various arts and crafts projects.
“We had monthly artists and every month we would have an artist reception where we would kick off the display accompanied by music,” she said.
Following the initial presentation of the overall library, the luncheon then focused on the youth in the county.
“The 3 percent (of what you give us), we do incredible things,” Bailey, the youth services librarian said. “We cannot do what we do without you.”
Bailey kicked off the discussion with the summer reading program saying they had the highest numbers this year since starting the program.
“We had 411 children from birth to fifth grade that were registered,” she said. “We had 34 programs with 1,472 attendees.”
The goal of the library was to host events to bring children in to prevent a “summer slide” which can cause children to lose a grade level of reading proficiency if they don’t read during the season.
Other events discussed by Bailey included “Mad Science,” “Hands and Sands” and “Lego to the Library,” where children had to create an object with Legos, then tell a story with their object and a balloon.
“Thank you for being our friends,” Moore said to the Friends of the Library at the end of the meeting.