GCPL Board of Trustees reviews successes

Michael Carlson
Gilpin County

The Gilpin Library ended the year on a high note.  In 2017 we saw circulation increase by 25% for a total of 30,935 items checked out for the year.  The number of people visiting the library rose by 8% for a total of 14,629.  During the 258 days the library was open, we conducted 117 programs and had close to 1,800 children, teens, and adults attend those programs.  Overall, we hope to continue these trends into 2018 and are looking for ways to build upon our progress.

At the beginning of 2017, the Library formulated a Strategic Plan to help focus our effort throughout the year.  With help from the Library Board, we came up with three priorities that we knew we wanted to work on during the past year:  Youth Services (Children’s/Tween/Teens), Technology, and Collection Management.

Youth Services:  During the course of the year we completely reimagined the children’s room.  We added shelf space along the wall and freed up space in the center of the room for programming.  We added an early learning activity table to encourage children and their parents to engage more at the Library.  The Library also completely revamped our summer reading club program.  The program is more interactive and focused on keeping kid’s attention throughout the summer while helping prevent summer slide. The Library also partnered with the CSU Extension Office here in Gilpin County to provide a weekly afterschool STEM focused program for tweens in the community.

Technology: The Library also took steps this year to update its technology. A new website was introduced in October that helps showcase our various programs and services. We purchased a better printer/scanner/fax that gives patrons more options instead of having to leave the community to meet their technology needs. We also joined the county’s technology replacement plan, which not only saves money in the long run, but ensures that our computers stay up to date. To finish off the year, we used donated funds to upgrade our meeting room and can now offer additional programs such as movie screenings and presentations.

Collection Management:  One area that we knew we really wanted to focus on was providing the most current and popular materials to our patrons. In the process, we conducted a complete inventory of our entire collection and removed worn and obsolete material to make way for new items. We introduced new formats, such as the early learning tablets called Launchpads, that have been very successful. The Library also updated its ordering procedures to ensure that bestsellers and popular titles were available for checkout as soon as they were published. With help from the county commissioners, additional funds were approved to purchase new materials, and in the end, overall circulation rose by 25% this year.  

To finish off the year, the Library held 11 programs for the month of December with an attendance of 160 people. Our preschool story time and craft hour is held every Wednesday from 10-11 a.m. We are beginning a monthly Saturday morning cartoon series with a showing of Cars 3 in the Library’s meeting room on January 27 at 10 a.m.  The Library will be hosting a special poetry reading by several artists called “Mountain Light in the Darkness” on Saturday, January 27 at 7 p.m.  Every Thursday from 4:30 – 6 p.m. we are welcoming kids ages 8+ to attend our robotics program. The Library’s Tuesday evening book club will be meeting on February 6 from 6:30 – 8 p.m.  The book “The Fire by Night” by Teresa Messineo is available for checkout at the front desk.  The Wednesday Lunch Book Club will be reading “Hillbilly Elegy” by J.D. Vance for its noon meeting on February 7.  Patrons can receive more information on upcoming programs by visiting our website www.gilpinlibrary.org.

Statistics for December 2017:  We circulated 2,914 items during the month. Books accounted for 55% of the circulation along with DVDs 34%, eContent 8%, and CD Books 3%. eBook, eAudio, and Database usage for the month was 236. Our estimated attendance for December 2017 was 1,157 for the 21 days the Library was open, an average of 55 patrons per day. There were 17 new Library cards issued.  The meeting room was used 12 times.  There were 15 requests for notary service.