Submitted by Catherine Redden, Library Director
1995 was a year of changes. Reference services were added by repositioning the reference desk to the main floor of the library and staffing it for a few hours daily, Monday through Friday. The circulation desk staff continued to answer reference requests at other times to the best of the collective staff's ability. The Children's Room was reopened two evenings a week. Children's videos were moved to the Children's Room where they can be checked out free, just like a book. Two computers were donated by people upgrading their personal equipment, and that provides two more computers for the public to use. A businessman donated a laminator to the work room, enabling us to preserve maps, posters, and other library materials. On our last day of 1995, a generous donor gave us a magnification machine which is now in the reference area. Invented for people with vision problems, it works by magnifying a page, letter, or any small item with details, and projecting the image onto a television screen. It has potential for people working with coins, stamps, or maps, who need to see all the details magnified. At a time when everyone's finances are tight, it's great to get donations and it gives donors a good tax break! In addition to adding books, we've added framed art; entertainment and nonfiction videos; fiction and non-fiction audio tapes; music CD's; and we've started a circulating CD-ROM collection. We will have a magazine index on CD-ROM by the time this is read which will enable you to research magazine articles and be able to print many of them directly from the computer. Circulation for 1995 was 159,359, a figure which is up over 7,000 items from last year! Personnel changes were two valuable library staff members who left; Marie and Melissa are missed. Their two jobs were divided into three smaller jobs and Lori, Megan, and Karen were hired in June. Barbara joined us in the fall as a permanent substitute, ready to cover for those last minute sick calls.
The free New Hampshire Humanities Council programs from the "What Is New Hampshire Reading This Month?" grant we were awarded in 1994, continued in 1995 with programs on the books :Amoskeag, A New Hampshire Literary Sampler, and A Prayer for Owen Meany. Local authors Brendan Dubois, and Rebecca Rule came and read from their newest works, and Peter Randall came and showed slides from his new book. The children's summer program, "Saddle Up a Good Book" was enjoyed by many, with the adults again participating by reading anything and everything connected to the western theme.
During 1995 preventive maintenance for the building was stressed and repairs continued on items that have met and exceeded their expected lifetime. One mouse met his demise in, and caused the failure of one of the system's motors.
The elected Trustees, Catherine Anderson, Tom Donaldson, Jim Inglis, Elizabeth Lavalee, and Jerry McConnell have met regularly and worked long and hard for the library. Staff members Alice, Joanne S., Joan, and Kathy have been contributing regular columns to the local newspapers; Jean has been busier than ever with interlibrary loans; Bill continues to keep up with technology and genealogy; while Mary, Joanne M., and the new staff work at the desks and do the regular library chores to keep new materials coming to you. A contingent of volunteers, numbering from twelve to fourteen during the year, have faithfully served the library throughout 1995, reading shelves and replacing books. The volunteers, as a group, have donated an average twenty-four hours a week. We couldn't operate efficiently without them!
We all look forward to more changes for the better in 1996.