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Did you know …? What the numbers say 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 of the numbers that we provide grant donors and thought you’d find interesting — a look behind the scenes at what makes your library run.

You won’t be surprised to learn that the biggest jump this year related to technology: Visits to our website last year were 370,557, an increase of 167 percent! More and more people are using the online catalog for holds and renewing items. There also has been an increase in downloadable items, and reference questions increased by 10 percent.

During the year 2010, the number of items in our collection rose 7 percent to 32,202, thanks to both purchases and donations.

There were 81,765 materials (books, magazines, CDs, audio tapes, DVDs and videos) checked out last year, an increase of 8 percent over 2009.

Attendance at our special programs for children is up again this year by 6 percent after a huge 40 percent jump last year, which is great news. Unfortunately, attendance continues to drop for teens, often because teens are so overscheduled. Our staff have several ideas for new programs that we hope will increase those teen numbers.

Again this year, our interlibrary loans continue to increase dramatically, up 72 percent over 2009. Our books loaned to other libraries more than doubled, up 129 percent in 2010, with more than a thousand books loaned to other libraries.

During 2010, 88,669 patrons visited the library last year, down 5.5 percent over 2009. This decrease matches computer use: For the second year since we introduced free computers when we moved into our renovated library in November 2005, computer use has dropped a bit. On an average day 80 people use our computers, compared to 85 the year before. We surmise that this drop is because fewer kids have been coming in after school because they’re going to Pagosa Game Space. Also, more and more people are bringing their own laptops into the library.

If you want to plan your visits, be aware that Mondays are now our busiest days for checkouts at the library, overtaking Wednesdays which used to be the most popular. But take note that Wednesday mornings also are busy and noisy because of Preschool Story Time.

Technology training

If you want to better understand what your computer and the Internet can do for you, please join us for a free event, called “Technology Petting Zoo,” tonight from 5-7 p.m. at the library. No advance registration is required. You will have an opportunity to see and demo several technological marvels that are just a few clicks away:

• From 5-5:30 p.m., explore OverDrive, a digital media library that allows you to check out digital audiobooks, eBooks, videos and music for your personal computer and/or portable device.

• From 5:30-6 p.m., learn about Universal Class, offering more than 500 online classes in subjects such as computer skills and software, home schooling, cooking, self-help, genealogy and many more.

• From 6-6:30 p.m., test BYKI, which stands for Before You Know It. It offers language instruction in more than 70 languages, including Spanish and English for Spanish speakers.

• From 6:30-7 p.m., study three of the library’s most popular online research data bases to access newspaper articles, scholarly journals, magazines, business listings, the U.S. standard White Pages, and more.

Large print mysteries

“Secrets to the Grave” by Tami Hoag is a mystery where the only witness to the murdered woman is her four-year-old daughter. “The Secret Soldier” by Alex Berenson features an ex-CIA man who goes undercover to find who is plotting against the aged monarch of Saudi Arabia. “Strategic Moves” by Stuart Woods is the latest in the Stone Barrington series. “Fatal Error” by J.A. Jance tackles a murder where all the women he once victimized as considered suspects. “The Sentry” by Robert Crais is the latest in the Joe Pike series.

Large print romance

“Waking up in Dixie” by Haywood Smith explores a loveless marriage when the husband wakes up a changed man after a stroke. “Separate Beds” by Elizabeth Buchan looks at a couple whose marriage starts to recover after the husband loses his job and they face an economic meltdown together. “Dancy’s Woman” by Lori Copeland features the daughter in a family whose busted pipeline may result in legal suits and a man who was badly hurt in the accident. “Salting Roses” by Lorelle Marinello follows the story of an Alabama baby who began her life fast asleep in a coal bucket on a front porch.

Books on CD

“Secrets to the Grave” by Tami Hoag is a mystery where the only witness to the murdered woman is her young daughter. “The Inner Circle” by Brad Meitzer is a thriller about the finding of an artifact at the National Archives. “Damage” by John Lescroat is the latest in the series featuring San Francisco homicide detective Abe Glitsky. “What the Night Knows” by Dean Koontz brings the supernatural to a murder spree covering two decades and many miles. “The Judas Gate” is the latest in the thriller series featuring Gen. Charles Ferguson and Sean Dillon. “The Sentry” by Robert Crais is the latest in the Joe Pike series.

Quotable quote

“A man is not finished when he is defeated. He is finished when he quits.” — former President Richard Nixon.

Thanks to our donors

We are grateful for generous donations in memory of Kay Grams from Roy and Betsy Gill, as well as Bob and Susan Kanyur. For books and materials this week, we thank Twila Faye Brown, Beth Ingham, Judy Lynch, Howard Strahlendorf and Randye Taylor.


For more information on library books, services and programs, and to reserve books from the comfort of your home, visit our website at

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