What a difference a year makes. A year ago, I was reveling in the community’s response to a new library addition that was completed in January 2014. People flocked to the library out of curiosity but they quickly realized how the new space has enhanced and improved nearly everything we do and offer.
With more room and a commitment to digital literacy, we added five new computers. Patrons no longer have to reserve a computer and wait to work on their resumes, hunt for jobs, bank online, or check email. Last year people logged into library computers 20,828 times.
We added study spaces throughout the building and two lobbies were furnished with tables and chairs for small informal meetings. Students, tutors, and business people seek out these quiet study spaces to get some much-needed work done. On a typical day, nearly every table is occupied and we saw a 50 percent increase in wireless sessions.
We now have more room in the children’s and teen libraries for better collections. New books are constantly added to keep the collections fresh and attractive. A new On-Demand Collection has the most popular books that can be checked out immediately with no wait. Wood Library is now the top circulating library in the Pioneer Library System with 223,521 checkouts, a 4 percent increase over the previous year.
We use the new first-floor community meeting room for thought-provoking programs and children’s events. The 2014 calendar was filled with well-attended programs ranging from Star Trek Physics to Fracking Wars, Teen Theater performances, exotic animal presentations, author talks, family concerts, and computer classes. Dozens of community organizations such as Trout Unlimited and the DAR meet regularly at Wood Library. Last year 17,436 people attended 1,268 library-sponsored programs, a 34 percent increase. A full house is now the norm.
These numbers prove that people need and want a community destination to explore their curiosity and to engage in lifelong learning. That place is Wood Library. Next time you drive by, stop in, visit and check us out. Our calendar is full of exciting upcoming events like an Afternoon of Poetry with local published poets on April 25 and, back by popular demand, Hobart William Smith Professor Tom Drennen will return to discuss solar energy for your home on April 29.
– Jenny Goodemote, Executive Director