Statistics, how dull. Right?
Wrong, wrong, wrong. When it comes to library statistics, you might be surprised to learn a few things about your local library. For example, did you know this library holds over 50,000 volumes? (Not including magazines and newspapers.) These materials are books (of all sorts for all types of people), audio books (in case you are taking a long boring trip on the road), music CDs, video games, and movies? Yes, in a town where the only way left to get a DVD is to buy one. . .there is another way. Each of these materials can be borrowed free of charge! They can be used in your own home at your own convenience for anywhere from a week to three weeks for those who live in or just outside Raton, or three weeks to six weeks for those who live in another area. The key word, of course, is "borrowed". The AJM Library is funded by the city of Raton and all the materials in it are city property. We lend them to you, you bring them back. If not, the word 'free' goes away and there will be a fine or a replacement cost due. But as long as anything you borrow is returned on time, it's one of the best economic deals in town.
The next statistic concerns our public access computers. The fifteen machines we have are used over 11,000 times a year. That means each computer averages being used 750 times per year. Not just by the same 750 people either. There are as many reasons for using the public library's computers as there are users. Those who are traveling, those whose computers have viruses and whose printers are not working, those who want to do a little research on an upcoming trip, those who come after school for help with classwork, and those who do not own a computer all use the library public access computers for free. There is that word 'free' again. Printing costs 15 cents per page, black and white, but using a computer costs absolutely nothing.
Every year the library uses a formula provided by the New Mexico State Library to average how many individuals come to the library. In the 2009-2010 fiscal year, this library was visited 34,164 times. The statistics for the current 2010-2011 fiscal year show that the average is going to be over 38,000 visits. During times of economic woe, people use the library more. Can't afford a subscription to the Albuquerque Journal? That's all right, we have it here in the library. Can't travel to a book store this weekend for the latest best seller? (That good old price of gas!) Call the library and see if our copy is available. Interested in a book that is out of print and this library doesn't have it? We will use the inter-library loan system to see if we can borrow it from another library for you. Need a place to use a computer or read a magazine while the car is being fixed or your wife is getting her hair done? Here we are.
Last year 2,647 people attended programs at the library. These programs were for people of all ages and a variety of interest. Many were children, and the schools brought students for tours as well. Some adult attendees were aspiring writers. Some had an interest in the world of science. Others took computer classes or saw historical artifacts. Some actually discussed books. The meeting room in this library is open for scheduling as long as the event scheduled is not a 'for profit' venture. Want a free space to meet in? Call the library.
The library accounts for 4% of the city budget. That's all. The materials provided, the individuals served, the computer usages, the programming, the 48 hours open per week - all of that is provided with a very small portion of the public money that comes into the city coffers each year to meet the needs of its citizens.
It does so with three full time staff members, one part-time aide, and one maintenance person on the payroll. (Volunteers who work for love of the library are very much appreciated and do not cost the city a dime.) The numbers of paid staff have gone down from four full time staff and two part-time aides in past years to the current level. Still, the library is serving more people and providing just as many programs, computers and services (if not more), than when we had more staff.
It is obvious from these statistics (and in the end, all they are about you more than they are about us), this library serves the public in a large way with a small fraction of the city budget. The numbers prove it.
- The library has a new AWE Literacy Station geared for children aged 2 to 8 years old. (See post.)
- Book signing for author of "The Adventures of Stinkerpup" Isis Grayling on Saturday, June 3, from 2 - 4 p.m.
- Summer Story Hour "Make A Better World" is coming! Beginning Wednesday, June 14th, this seven week program will continue every Wednesday from 10 - 11 a.m. through July 26th. (See post.)
- The Arthur Johnson Memorial Library Board will hold their next meeting on Tuesday, May 16, 2017, at 5:30 p.m. in the meeting room at the library.
- Are you interested in joining a new Writer's Group? Meetings held on Fridays, at 10:00 a.m. This is for any writer who wishes to meet with other writers. Beginners, experienced, published, unpublished, writers of fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, bloggers - all are welcome.
- Preschool Story Hour is conducted every Wednesday morning at 10:00 a.m. We read books to the children and there is a project every week. It's never too soon to introduce your children to the library!
- Schedule a meeting at the library. Call 445-9711 to get on the calendar in advance. The library stays open until 6:00 P.M., Monday - Saturday, except for Thursday, when it stays open until 9:00 P.M.