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Annual Report to the Community - 2016

The John C. Hart Memorial Library in Shrub Oak, NY has been serving the Town of Yorktown and surrounding areas of the Town of Cortlandt since 1920. The library director, staff and board of trustees are committed to furthering the library's mission to provide "a center for intellectual, personal, and cultural enrichment for the people of all ages and backgrounds." Below is a snapshot of our collection and services for the year 2016.

COLLECTION

In addition to a a collection of over 86,500 books, almost 7,000 music and audiobook CDs and over 7,200 DVDs, the library provided access to nearly 30,000 electronic books, audio, and video downloads. The library spent $ 186,404 adding materials to the library collection in 2016. Expenditures for new materials were increased by 9.5 %. Expenditures for electronic materials were increased by 16%. These holdings are enhanced by our ability to share resources with other Westchester public libraries as members of the cooperative Westchester Library System.

PROGRAMS AND SERVICES

The library was able to offer total of 754 programs for adults and children in 2016. The total attendance of 12,025. 684 children and teens participated in summer reading programs.

Our programming efforts were heavily supported through the fundraising efforts of the Friends of the Library who finance all our theater and concert programs, most of our Children's programs and pay the museum passes. It should also be noted that they pay for our email blasts and registration software.

Last year there were 679 one-on-one sessions. These included teen volunteers helping people with basic technology, teen volunteers reading to young children, Senior Benefits Information Center volunteers providing help with Medicare and other benefit programs, and volunteers delivering library materials to the homebound.

The Teacher in the Library program provided homework support to elementary school students and their parents and our long standing tradition of providing early literacy programs to young children and their caregivers was expanded to include bilingual story times.

The library provided public space for Westchester County Dept. of Health programs, for Relay for Life and Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the Alliance for Safe Kids as well as other community groups and organizations. These organizations and services enrich our community by all that they do.

FACILITIES

2016 saw a renewed emphasis on improving the physical building and maintaining the library grounds. We began the year by pruning trees and ended the year by removing large declining trees that could not be saved. Equipment was installed to regulate incoming electrical current, protecting library electronic equipment from electrical surges and low voltage episodes. We were able to replace the failing automatic door openers that were installed in 1990 thanks to a grant from State Senator Terrence Murphy. The library board used gift funds to commission plans for future remodeling the library bathrooms to make them more water and energy efficient and completely handicapped accessible.

The town board approved the use of capital funds to replace the worst of the rotting wood window surrounds and siding on the 1990 extension.

Much of what was accomplished was made possible through the town engineer and other town employees who provided expert advice and the needed skills to get things done. Total spending on building and grounds maintenance in 2016 was $ 59,054 - an increase of 250% over 2015.

FUTURE PLANS

In 2016 we began to lay the groundwork for improving the library facility, prolonging the life of our majestic trees, beautifying the grounds and finding ways to offer more diverse programs that engage our older library population. With the help of the money left to the library by Alice Maram we will undertake the bathroom and adult room renovations. Exterior maintenance and capital improvements projects will continue, using operating expenses and capital funds, and we hope to expand adult programming using grant funding and fundraising. As we move forward we will ask for continued community support and input.

Submitted to the Library Board on March 15, 2017

Patricia Hallinan, Library Director

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