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Public Library sees 1.1% increase in circulation numbers

The Weyburn Public Library board reported having a successful year in 2010, with an increase in circulation by 1.

The Weyburn Public Library board reported having a successful year in 2010, with an increase in circulation by 1.1 per cent, partly due to the new province-wide Saskatchewan Integrated Libraries System (SILS), the board heard at their annual meeting held the evening of Mar. 1.

The new system gives all library patrons to the Weyburn branch access to any book title or resource available wherever it is in Saskatchewan.

In his report, librarian Kam Teo said, "This new service has benefitted customers in Weyburn and throughout the province. Average circulation here at Weyburn Public Library saw an increase of 1.1 per cent as a result of SILS. I am confident that SILS will continue to boost circulation in 2011."

Chair Dianne Sander added of SILS, "As with all 'first-of-a-kind' projects of this magnitude, there were glitches to be worked out. I commend the library staff for their patience and perseverance in overcoming these concerns. The increase in circulation of 1.1 per cent was due not only to the new materials in our branch, but also to the ease of viewing and ordering materials from all other libraries in the province."

She added "there still are glitches" being worked through, but said the staff has been excellent about handling the problems when they come up.

Two programming highlights of the past year also contributed to an increase in library usage, said Teo. A new adult programmer, Chris Harrow, joined staff in the late spring, and has offered new ideas for programming that people have responded to. Some of the adult program highlights include a Qi Gong class, knitting, an Armchair Travel series, an adult summer reading program, and hosting award-winning authors for readings, such as Trevor Herriot and Lorna Crozier.

On the children's side, a popular initiative was the "Mayor's Mega-Minute Challenge", through which Mayor Debra Button challenged city and area children to read as much as they could. With the cooperation of the city's schools, students read a total of 314,640 minutes.

Also, the library held two successful used book sales, in May and November, 2010, which raised a total of $4,483 that helped buy new resources and books for the library.

Looking at the circulation numbers broken down for 2010, there were 77,732 checkouts, 73,865 check-ins with 13,642 renewals and 1,654 holds.

In the programming area, children's programs had 130 children attend, almost double that of 77 the year before. For adults, there were 149 total in attendance, just over double that of 71 the year before. Total attendance overall, including the summer reading program, was 3,092, up from 2,034 the year before.

"I was very pleased with the variety of adult programming this year," said trustee Laura Chapman.

Coun. Craigen commented of the adult programmer, "I had the pleasure of working with Chris with the Armchair Travel series; it speaks well for your leadership as well, Kam."

According to the financial report for the past year, the library posted a very small deficit on the year, with income totalling $47,980, and expenses totalling $48,882, for a net deficit of $901.

Some of the highlights on the income side include the book sale amount ($4,483), fines on overdue materials totalling $5, 015, donations totalling $2,025, the City of Weyburn grant of $21,350, and funding from the Southeast Regional Library for programs totalling $6,420.

On the expense side, advertising cost $3,082, programming totalled a cost of $6,656, the band "Library Voice" cost $2,025 to bring in, and a total of $11,448 was transferred to headquarters, including $389 from book sales, $4,371 from fines and $6,688 for lost materials.