Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Originally published in the California Focus Jan, 2012

            Greetings from the California Area Public Library

How time flies!  As we all recover from the rigors of the holidays and finish off the last of the leftover cookies it is time to reflect and plan how to forge ahead in the New Year. 

I am just finishing up my first year here as the library director and what a year it has been.  Most of my time has been spent on learning the day to day operations of the library and getting to know the community.  My goal was to see what the library had to offer, what more we could do and how we fit into the lives of the people.  At this point I have a fairly good idea to those answers.  Before I get into that I wanted to let you know what we have accomplished this past year.

In 2011 we have invested heavily in three large projects.  The first was updating our facility.  We were able to renovate our office space increasing efficiency and work space that was welcomed by the employees.  Technology was another goal of ours.  We have been fortunate enough to upgrade equipment creating a more stable system in-house.  We now have a total of eight computers that are available publicly to our patrons along with projection equipment they can utilize.  In cooperation with the Washington County Library System we will be making e-books available through OverDrive.  Patrons will be able to borrow e-books and audio books 24 hours a day to the device of their choice with a valid library card.  We also have e-Book readers available here for our patrons to use.  The last project was serving the children of the community.  By focusing our efforts we had more children attending and participating in our Summer Reading and Story Time programs.  This was all in addition to adding new employees, expanding our collection and serving our patrons in more traditional ways.

So what is in store for us in 2012?

This year I have three goals; providing more services and programing, creating relationships with organizations to help promote those services and finally increasing community participation. We are in the process of planning programs for both children and adults.  We are planning classes on computers and health and would love to see the return of the book club.  We are hoping to partner with local organizations to help provide content that you are interested in.  We are hoping to forge stronger relationships with area schools and see how we can help them achieve their goals.  Lastly, we are hoping to develop more community participation with the library.  We have a number of ways to be involved; if you are interested on serving on our board, joining our Friends of the library group, volunteering regularly, helping us teach a class or accomplish a short term project let us know.

                                                ~Brian K. Dawson

                                                  Library Director

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