2012 a good year for the library

Happy New Year!

We at the Mancos Public Library would like to extend best wishes to all the residents of the Mancos Valley for a happy, healthy & prosperous 2013. As with most people, the new year brings thoughts of renewal and revitalization, gives us a chance to reflect on the past year and set goals for personal growth for the year to come.

The library started 2012 with a big challenge - we were facing the first year of a substantial budget shortfall with projections of more to come. Thankfully, the staff and board were up to it ... and the community stepped up, in a big way. We were involved with numerous fundraisers - a pancake breakfast (thank you Masons!), The Follies, an evening with R. Carlos Nakai and a Fall Open House & Quilt Auction. In addition, the Friends of the Library held book sales, bake sales and plant sales to benefit the library. To top it off, in December we sent out approximately 1,700 letters out to property owners in the community explaining our current financial situation and asking for help. Thanks to all of you, the result of our efforts has been phenomenal - not only did we reach our goal (that will allow us to pay the bills for another year) but we also received donations above and beyond such as a new flag and flagpole, help with landscaping and maintenance, priceless volunteer help, and materials galore. Thank you, Mancos!!

Not all of our time last year was spent raising money. We were open to serve the public 2,403 hours, added close to 1,500 new items to the collection, circulated almost 34,000 items, had 379 groups use our meeting rooms, and hosted over 150 programs for the community. Many of our popular programs such as Community Cinema, Summer Reading Program, the Great Decisions discussion group, Gaming Daze, and Seasonal Circle Storytime continued in 2012. We added new programs for all age groups including a teen tech club and writing club, gardening and sustainability programs (centered around our seed lending library), Movie Mondays for the after school crowd, and the addition of a Spanish language element to the weekly children's storytime.

2013 will bring more growth for the Mancos Public Library, despite facing the second year of reduced property taxes. Although fundraising will still be a significant goal, this year's efforts will include more work on grants to help offset the impact on the local community.

As technology continues to play a more prominent role in our lives, we will be adding to and improving the library's "e-resources", including a redesigned website at www.mancoslibrary.org, replacing the Lynux based public computers with Windows systems (thanks to assistance from the Tech Club), adding an eBook subscription service, and beginning to develop a "maker space" for the inspired. We're already on our way to replacing the public computers thanks to a $700 donation challenge (which was matched by the community!). Stay tuned for further developments in all areas.

We'll also be looking closely at our programs for the upcoming year, beginning with a survey of your interests. We'll be out in the community over the course of the next few months gathering information and talking to the residents ... if you see us please take a moment to fill out a survey (or you can pick one up at the library, too). The only way we can successfully plan programs that you will enjoy is with your feedback.

You will see changes to the physical layout of the library as well. As our collections continue to grow we'll be adding shelves to some areas, replacing some shelves with taller units and reorganizing to find the best fit. We also hope to add signage throughout the course of the year to aid patrons in locating items.

Thank you again, Mancos, for a wonderful 2012. I'm constantly amazed at and grateful for the generosity of our little community! I love hearing from you about how we can make your library better - please feel free to stop by the library, e-mail me at lhallberg@mancoslibrary.org, or call me at 533-7600 if you have suggestions, comments, concerns, or have a skill or expertise you'd like to share with the community.