Happy New Year!
We were very much hoping that by now, January 2022, COVID-19 would be a distant memory, but 2021 saw us still working through this pandemic. Last April we were able to welcome patrons inside the library again, with masks and social distancing, and heavy disinfection rituals at closing times, but how great was it to see everyone again? We had missed everyone so much. It felt a little more normal to once again hear chatter and have some live events again. Things were uncertain again at the end of the year, but we were able to continue our events though ever-changing pandemic recommendations and mandates. Just for the record, no one enjoys wearing masks! Thank you to our community who made our jobs easier by complying with requirements. –Director, Deborah Chase-Lauther
2021 Number Crunching…
As part of North Country Library System, our patrons have access to over 1,912,000 items. That’s a lot of reading, watching, downloading, and playing!
There were 3,586 free Wi-Fi wireless sessions, providing internet access to all in-house and outside patrons on our library grounds.
Our holdings increased from 25,383 to 27,372 items, including books, all electronic and non-electronic materials (such as e-books), our Playful Learning Center items, and archival data.
There were 25,748 visits to our website, www.hepburnlibraryofmadrid.org
We added 150 titles to our children’s fiction and non-fiction shelves.
Our Vision – Your Vision
In December 2020, we developed our 2021 Community Service Plan and sent out a community questionnaire, to determine what was important to everyone in our service area. Your feedback let us know that we were on the right track; increasing accessibility to library services, ensuring free access to WiFi, and continuing to develop strong programming for all ages. We heard you! You can review our Service Plan here: www.hepburnlibraryofmadrid.org/policies/serviceplan.
Our Board of Trustees
Our Board of Trustees is a hands-on group of devoted community members who invest time and energy ensuring the vitality of your library. We met twelve times in 2021, usually on the second Thursday of the month. The Board of Trustees provided oversight in every area of daily library functioning, from financial governance and grants, to programming.
2021 Slate, continuing in 2022:
Jen McAvoy – President
Susan McAvoy – Vice President
Emily Huntley – Treasurer
Jenn Coakley – Secretary
Bryan Huntley – Trustee
Welcome to our new 2022 Trustee, Allison Barkley!
Thanks to Julie Gomez, our inhouse IT Technician, our new website was up and running October 1.
Julie also developed and led our Preservation and Archiving 101 course – a must for anyone interested in archives!
Kathy Paige, Early Childhood Education Technician, continued Story Time and Craft with Mrs. Paige every Friday morning at 11:00. Kathy has a dedicated following amongst our more junior citizens. Kathy was instrumental in developing our Summer Reading Program.
In spite of COVID-19, we were able to tentatively move forward with (masked and socially distanced) in-person programming.
Monthly programming included:
50 Story Time and Crafts sessions.
10 Across the Fence presentations.
2 fun festivals: Carnivale, and Trunk or Treat.
2 independent reading programs, Feather Your Bird and Build Your Snowman. Combined, over 450 books were read.
Summer Reading Program – 31 registrations and a total of 430 books read.
Snowflake and Cookie decorating event.
A BIG thank you to the Madrid Dam Music Series for their time and effort organizing two wonderful Book Bundle campaigns. Over 80 book packages were distributed to children in our community! In addition, MDMS, led by the inimitable Anna Campbell, assisted with our fun festivals, and hosted the Santa Claus Parade and parking lot party in December.
Our Book Club began anew in September, after a long hiatus.
Donations and Fund-raising
Thank you to the St. Lawrence Farm Bureau, who donated a set of wonderful books for our young readers.
Thank you, also, to our community readers who donate their best-sellers in excellent condition so that others may enjoy them. We added 35 new donated titles to our shelves this year!
Our book sales made over $180.00, which was used for programming and acquisitions.
While our Friends of HLM group disbanded this year, we are grateful for their continued support and volunteer services. Thank you to Edna Cline, Mary Jane Thompson, Ruth Ann Quintavalle, Anna Heller, and Diana Fisher for their many years of dedication. Their efforts raised funds for the improvement of the library in many ways, and we are grateful.
2021 saw the installation of a new boiler and energy efficient water heater. We received a grant for this project from the State Education Department, Division of Library Development, in the amount of $16,398, with matching library funds.
End result? Our library is toasty warm on the coldest days, and water is heated efficiently and on demand.
During 2021 we began a grant to refinish our Community Room floor, and also to refurbish our existing kitchen to a more modern teaching kitchen.
Finally, thank you to our community… those who borrow lots of books for homeschooling, those who can’t wait for the new bestseller to finally be available, and those who come in to chat and let us know that they appreciate this special jewel in the heart of this special town.