The Archbold Community Library circulated 6,836 fewer items in 2011 than it did in 2010, library board members learned at their Wednesday, Jan. 18 meeting.
The annual circulation report for 2011 showed the library circulated 113,224 items, including books, digital video discs, and other items.
That’s down 5.69% from 2010, when the total number of items circulated was 120,060.
“Why is circulation down?” asked John Bamonte, library board member.
“There’s a number of reasons,” said Joyce Klingelsmith, library director.
“Of course, the biggest is the Internet. Plus, the school upgraded its library, so the school has more resources– electronic as well as print.
“One of the biggest decreases is in children’s fiction. We don’t have the same number of kids coming in for story hour, because for working mothers, preschool has more attraction.
“Mothers use to check out 30 books at a time,” she said.
“The dynamics have changed, and that has all contributed to a decrease in circulation.”
On the other hand, participation in the Ohio e-books project, in which library patrons can check out books in a digital format, has more than doubled.
“We have the highest circulation of e-books in the county, but not all county libraries have been involved in e-books for an entire year,” Klingelsmith said.
The number of people who use the Internet at the library is up by about 3%.
She said the library has added 405 patrons in 2011, compared to 412 in 2010.
Jennifer Harkey, library fiscal officer, told the board the library ended 2011 with a balance of $151,805.79 in the general fund.
The board approved carrying that amount over into 2012. At Harkey’s request, $50,000 of that balance was transferred into the building and repair fund.
Teri Krebs, Archbold, joined the library board to replace Corinna Miller, who asked not to be reappointed.
Jed Grisez was elected president of the board. Jay Budde was named vice president, and Bamonte was voted secretary.
The board set the 2012 library schedule, which included closing six days. The board approved closing the library on Christmas Eve Day, which is a Monday.
Also, it approved meeting on the second Wednesday of every other month.
Library board members learned basic computer courses still will be offered, but will be taught through Northwest State Community College, not the library.
In its last meeting, the board approved participation in a Connect Ohio program called “Every Citizen Online.”
Through the program, the library was planning to purchase a small, portable computer “lab” with six laptop computers on a cart, with the federally-funded program picking up most of the cost.
The program offers basic computer courses to individuals with little-to-no computer experience.
Unfortunately, Klingelsmith said Connect Ohio has decided to no longer provide grants to libraries in northern Ohio.
She said Northwest State Community College is a training center for Connect Ohio, and NSCC can bring both the instructor and equipment to the libraries.
Klingelsmith asked if the board wanted to work with NSCC to offer the classes.
Helen Row, library board member, said, “My reaction is, why would we not do it?”
Klingelsmith said she would still like to purchase a small, laptop-based computer lab in the future, and said two persons asked about taking computer classes at the library.
Board members were told insurance for the building was renewed.
The annual premium has gone down because the library participated in a program sponsored by The Ohio Plan. The program involves going over a checklist of safety features, and sending library staff to continuing education.
The premium for 2012 is $4,229, down $226 from last year.
Jay Budde, board member and an engineer, examined the roof gutter system and found problems.
The system uses a wide gutter that is lined with a rubber-like membrane. In several places the seams have failed, allowing storm water runoff to leak into the building.
He recommended the gutters be repaired in the next few months. Budde warned board members the repair will not be cheap. The cost could be in the tens of thousands of dollars.
All votes were unanimous.
The next board meeting is Wednesday, March 14, 7 pm.–David Pugh