Island Library: Hub of “fun”
In a look-back at the summer season, Island Free Library Director Kristin Baumann reported to the Board of Trustees meeting on Sept. 24 that from the beginning of June to the third week of this month a total of 37,442 people had utilized the services of the local library. “That is 9,360 people per staff person,” she said.
Pleased with the numbers, she likened them to the capacity of Fenway Park, which holds about 38,000 people. Noting these totals relied on a door counter, Baumann explained there had been 20 programs in June, which drew 835 people; 29 in July, to which 394 came, and 27 in August, which drew 419 individuals.
She said a visit this summer from Rhode Island legislators — Sen. Jack Reed and Rep. Langevin — led to a very successful tour of the island library.
Baumann highlighted plans for the fall into the beginning of next year: technical support will be offered for those needing basic level computer instruction with sessions held on Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m. She added that library staff would continue outreach efforts to seniors attending the Lunch Bunch to entice them “to come to the library after lunch.”
A third session of pearl-stringing is in the works, Baumann said, with “two jewelry people committed to running it.” Details are still being worked out.
Regarding capital improvement budget requests, Baumann said that one book drop to be located at the front of the building had been approved. A fresh air system (HVAC), budgeted for $25,000, was approved as well.
Among ongoing needs Baumann itemized were a new elevator, replacement of carpeting on regular rotations and a new front door. She said when the old book drop was taken out, it would be replaced with plate glass.
Baumann also reported that $11,205.09 in income had been derived from ongoing fundraising within the library: among these, sales of candy, refreshments, books, computer printouts as well as from fines and donations.
Treasurer Bill McKernan reported that of the $5,378 balance in the Henault Book Fund, $888 had been allocated to the purchase of reference materials: the World Book Encyclopedia, both in hard and digital editions. He also pointed out that $792 had been used from the St. Vincent DePaul Fund to purchase tickets for a production of “Annie” at the Matunuck Theater by the Sea. Fourteen “very happy” children attended, McKernan said.
He added that income from donations from the end of May through the end of August totaled $1,345. Seven of these contributions totaling $395 were made in memory of Nancy Doolittle. Other donations totaled $950, among which a number were in memory of Doris and Herman Hassinger.
Reporting on work and activities of the Friends of the library, Baumann said the group was still looking for volunteers and for help. She pointed out that most of the work was being done by Mary Sue Record and a few helpers. The Friends had mounted a very successful membership drive, “and have money ready to offer the library,” Baumann said.
The next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 29.