Did you know …? What the numbers reveal about your library

Grants from foundations and corporations are a major source of operating funds for the Sisson Library. These organizations require lots of figures to prove that any library requesting donated funds is well managed and also an integral and valued part of its community. Here are some the numbers that we provide grant donors and thought you’d find interesting – a look behind the scenes at what makes your library run.

During the year 2008, we’re delighted to report that virtually all our key figures were up over last year:

• 83,755 patrons visited the library, up 5.4 percent over 2007.

• 69,082 materials (books, magazines, CDs, audio tapes, DVDs and videos) were checked out, up 16.6 percent over 2007.

• Attendance is way up for our special programs for children (up 76.7 percent), teens (up 130.4 percent) and adults (up 15.3 percent).

• Generous people made 17,004 donations of books and other materials (not including magazines), up 13.3 percent. More than 2,000 were added to our shelves, increasing the value of our collection by $37,896. The others were sold at the ongoing in-house book sale or at the annual Friends of the Library book sale to raise much needed funds for the library.

• Web site visits have jumped dramatically to 256,993 in 2008, up 44.4 percent over last year.

• Computer use has stayed steady as we have no room for more computers. On an average day 88 people use our computers.

• Because of increasing demand, we are spending more for non-print items (audio books, DVDs and music) than in the past — $2,294 in 2008, up 48.4 percent.

• We have borrowed 637 books for our patrons through Interlibrary Loans, up 15.2 percent over 2007, and loaned out 437 of our materials to other Colorado libraries, up 9.8 percent.

• The one number that is disappointing is our volunteer hours. We lost several long-time volunteers to illness or they moved away, so our volunteer hours in 2008 were 1,285, down 39.1 percent from the year before. If you would like to join our volunteer team, the library staff would welcome you with open arms. Please contact the director, Jackie Welch, at 264-2209.

Bilingual story hour

This month’s bilingual story hour takes place at the library at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 10. “Quninito’s Neighborhood” will be read in English and in Spanish, and all pre-kindergarten children and families are welcome. There will be snacks and craft activities after the story.’

Books on CD

With audio books being ever more popular, we are pleased to tell you of several new productions on CD. “Outliers: The Story of Success” by Malcolm Gladwell, “Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World” by Vicki Myron, “Arctic Drift, A Dirk Pitt Novel” by Clive Cussler and his son Dirk, “Just After Sunset,” a collection of short stories by Stephen King, “Scarpetta,” another in the Kay Scarpetta forensic pathology series by Patricia Cornwell, “The Christmas Sweater,” a holiday classic by Glenn Beck, “The Charlemagne Pursuit,” a mystery by Steve Perry, “Cross Country” from the Alex Cross series by James Patterson, “Your Heart Belongs To Me” by Dean Koontz and “Dashing Through the Snow,” a mystery by Mary Higgins Clark and her daughter Carol.

Books for teens

Two books by Anna Nilsen are great detective games as well as fun introductions to modern art. “The Great Art Scandal” involves a rogue painting in a gallery’s new exhibition, and “Art Auction Mystery” is about 16 possible fakes in a collection about to be put up for auction.

“A Poke in the I” is a collection of 30 concrete poems that wiggle around the page.

“The Hobbit” is a graphic novel, an illustrated edition of the fantasy classic by J.R.R. Tolkien.

We also have three books by Lauren Myracle about friends instant messaging: “l8r,g8r,” “ttyl” and “ttfn.”

Self-help and how-to

“The Gift of Years: Growing Older Gracefully” by spiritual writer Joan Chittister looks at the many dimensions of aging.

“How to Live: A Search for Wisdom from Old People While They Are Still On This Earth ” by Henry Alford is a witty guide for seekers of all ages.

“The Complete Stenciling Handbook” by Sandra Buckingham is a comprehensive guide to the latest stenciling methods, tools and materials.

“Eat This Not That” is billed as a supermarket survival guide by David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding.

New novels

“Agincourt” is an historical adventure by Bernard Cornwall. “Three Weeks To Say Goodbye” by C. J. Box is about a couple being coerced to give back an adopted baby. “When Love Blooms” is a romance set on a ranch in Idaho by Robin Lee Hatcher. “Corner Shop” by Roopa Farooki is about a family so intent on individual dreams that they might lose sight of what really matters. “Almost Home” by Pam Jenoff is a mystery set in London about a mysterious death. “The Renegades” is a Charlie Hood novel by T. Jefferson Parker.

Financial issues

“Mortgages 101/second edition” by David Reed provides answers to more than 250 critical questions about your home loan.

“Stop Foreclosure Now” by Lloyd Segal is a guide to saving your home and your credit.

“The Retirement Challenge: Will You Sink or Swim” by financial advisor Frank Armstrong III is a do-it-yourself toolkit to help you navigate your financial future.

“The Great Depression Ahead” by Harry S. Dent, Jr. offers advice on how to prosper in the crash following the greatest boom in history.

“The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008” is by Paul Krugman, winner of the Novel Prize in economics.

Quotable quote

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” — Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman statesman, orator, philosopher.

Thanks to our donors

We are grateful for generous donations from Gil and Lenore Bright in memory of Drue Hartong, and from John Hanna and Rowan Emrys. For books and materials this week we thank Lenore Bright, W.C. Clifford, Shana Gawdun, Cindy Gustafson, Bamma Laizure, Sue Ellen Loher, Jane Lomasney, Merilyn Moorhead, Buster Overly, Johnny Pickett, Cathy Rutherford, Lynne Stichfield, Ron Tinsley, Upscale Resale, Margaret Wilson and Vicki Wood.

Web site

For more information on library books, services and programs, please visit our new Web site at www.pagosa.colibraries.org.